Category: Social Topics
The death of my brother in the past week has led to a decision to explore a little more about health and how we can learn more about living longer and healthier lives. I’ve seen reports on the leading causes of death in Michigan, lifestyle and economic effects on health, even, life expectancy by zip code. It has been very interesting and enlightening to peruse through the vast amounts of data available. But, then, I had to wonder how many of us, actually, are aware and take advantage of the information available to enhance our longevity and quality of life.
According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the leading causes of disability and death in our state are chronic diseases. Chronic diseases are health conditions that, generally, cannot be cured or get better over time. More specifically, the top ten suspects affecting over 60% of Michigan’s adult population leading to seven out of ten deaths are:
In addition, the state ranks over 95% of its adult population with high-risk behaviors that lead to disabling or chronic disease including alcohol and tobacco use, unhealthy diet, and lack of physical activity. The MDHHS Chronic Disease Epidemiology Section was established to gather data, develop evidence-based public health programs, improve outcomes, and reduce health disparities in our state.
The key areas of focus for the Chronic Disease Epidemiology Section include:
You can access the Michigan Chronic Disease Geographic Information System (GIS) Maps publication for studies on hospital, mortality, and hypertensive emergency rates for cardiovascular disease; chronic alcohol-attributable diseases due to proximity of alcohol outlets; maternal child health; breast and cervical cancer; and more.
GIS Publication Link:
In brief, chronic illnesses are long-term and do not go away on their own such as heart disease, diabetes, respiratory diseases, cancer, kidney disease, stroke, arthritis, and HIV. Injuries are caused by accidents (i.e. car crashes, falls, sports injuries), or violence (i.e. gunshots, suicide, assaults). Genetics, lifestyle, environment, and other factors combine to determine one’s predisposition to chronic illness and the extent to which it can or cannot manifest. So, be aware of your risk factors including family history, high-risk behaviors, and other socioeconomic conditions which contribute to disease and death.
While heart disease ranks as the number one cause of death in Michigan, it also ranks highest in the nation as a whole. But, heart disease is a broad term referring to a disease of the heart and blood vessels. But, according to the McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital (2015), a condition called atherosclerosis is the number one killer of Michiganders. That is, hardened arteries due to the buildup of fatty, fibrous plague which attaches to artery walls and restricts blood flow.
So, how long do we live in Michigan? Studies estimate the average life expectancy at 77.89 years in Michigan. On average, men live 75.32 years, and, despite female healthcare disparities, women live about 80.037 years in Michigan, according to World Life Expectancy (2015). Poor life expectancy, of course, can be attributed to access and quality of healthcare and socioeconomic conditions such as costs for treatment and medicine that affect health outcomes. In terms of longevity, Oakland County ranks highest in health and life expectancy and white women have the lowest mortality rate in Michigan.
Death, Burial, and Crime Victim Compensation
Community Resources Section - Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority (DMWHA)
Life Expectancy at Birth by Sex, Michigan and United States (1901 – 2016)
Poverty Solutions Data Map (University of Michigan)
Heart Disease Leading Cause of Death in Michigan
Michigan Life Expectancy
Why Life Expectancy is Shorter in Michigan
Life Span for Detroit’s Poor Among Shortest in the Nation
Life Expectancy at Birth and Age 65
Preventing Chronic Disease and Promoting Health in Michigan: How Well Are We Doing As A State?
State of Michigan Chronic Disease and Injury Control
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS)
Chronic Disease Epidemiology Section
Life Course Epidemiology Genomic Division
P.O. Box 30195
333 S. Grand Avenue
Lansing, MI 48909-30195
Welcome to The Community Advocate Network. My name is Deborah Mitchell, I am a graduate in Social Work and Registered Social Work Technician. My human service background began in 2007 which includes medical case management and service navigation for the indigent population, outpatient mental health counseling with substance use and abuse disorders, supportive employment and job development for mental health consumers, and structured living domicile management.