Report: Pennsylvania falls short on quality-of-life aging

Cris Collingwood//May 4, 2023


Report: Pennsylvania falls short on quality-of-life aging

Cris Collingwood//May 4, 2023

Pennsylvania lacks health care availability, has average dietary choices, and high levels of loneliness, ranking it 28th in the country for aging, according to the 2022 Healthy Aging Index.

The report about life quality in the U.S. performed by digital health company DoFasting, analyzed five fundamental pillars of healthspan: demographics, economics, behavioral aspects, healthcare, and mental health.

Underpinning these pillars are 25 indicators (5 per pillar) that are interrelated and work together to provide an overall measure of healthy aging across the 50 states. Each indicator’s highest score is 4, the lowest is 0. The highest possible final score is 100; however none of the states have scored it.

Pennsylvania scored well on the report with low divorce and suicide rates which is praiseworthy, DoFasting said. The final rating of Pennsylvania is about 52.2, which is still considered low and therefore, Pennsylvania should consider social, health and demographics improvements.

The 2022 Healthy Aging Index aims to highlight specific improvements that individual states could make to support healthy aging in 2023.

“Multiple recent studies have shown that a low-risk lifestyle can prolong life expectancy – and that most of these additional years of life are spent in good health,” said Dr. Kasparas Aleknavicius, health advisor at DoFasting.

Pennsylvania ranked low in terms of poor healthcare availability (0.48 out of 4 points), average dietary choices (1.46 out of 4 points) and high levels of loneliness (0.97 out of 4 points).

“According to multiple studies, loneliness increases the rate of mortality and decreases the total health span. The Healthy Aging Index shows that Pennsylvania lags behind among other states, and loneliness could be a contributor to this position,” said Supriya Lal RD, health advisor at DoFasting.

However, the DoFasting experts also point out that only five out of 10 high-income states have affordable health care, and three low-income states may not have easily

accessible healthcare, which suggests that the public healthcare system has less influence than individual personal income which in Pennsylvania is 1.98.

“Corresponding to the study, the best state for healthy aging is Utah, which is becoming an attractive destination for relocation due to affordable health care costs and beautiful nature. The worst state for healthy aging is Mississippi because of the lower quality education, lower income, and high poverty and crime rates,” Aleknavicius said.

Despite spending the most on healthcare worldwide, the United States falls well behind other world leaders in life expectancy rankings. The National Center for Health Statistics reports that after a historic drop in life expectancy in 2020, the country took another alarming hit in 2021, mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic reports.

And while life expectancy in other high-income countries has since increased, in the U.S., it fell by almost three years (down to 76.1 years), the report showed.

One of the reasons for such poor rankings is the US medical system. However, such measures also depend on a variety of socio-economic and behavioral factors that affect an individual’s health, including diet, exercise, smoking, poverty, obesity, compliance with medical protocols, and many others.

The DoFasting team of researchers and medical doctors analyzed 1,250 units of data from 25 reputable sources. The research was conducted to shed light on the uneven distribution of resources around the United States and help people make decisions regarding the most suitable place to live in.