In Denver, how long you live depends on where you live

Life expectancy varies by as much as 11 years between Denver’s well off and struggling neighborhoods.

A truck speeds over Swansea Elementary. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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The train is ever present on the neighborhood's west side. corridor of opportunity; eyria; swansea; infrastructure; globeville; development; overcast; weather; train; denver; colorado; denverite; kevinjbeaty;
The train that runs through Elyria-Swansea contributes to larger health disparities. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The Denver Post brings us an important story about the disparate Denvers that exist within our city boundaries and a new effort to reduce some of this inequality.

Life expectancy varies by as much as 11 years between Denver’s well off and struggling neighborhoods.

In Denver, 2 miles can mean 10 years in average life span. The average life expectancy in Washington Park is 84 years — an 11-year difference from Valverde, which is just west of Interstate 25 between Sixth and Alameda avenues. Residents of Stapleton, Belcaro and the southwest Denver neighborhood of Marston can expect to live until 83 or 84, but those in Capitol Hill, East Colfax and West Colfax die about a decade sooner, on average.

It’s not news that inequality can actually kill you. These geographic disparities reflect racial and income disparities in health outcomes that are well documented. We recently looked at the long-term health impacts of environmental pollution in parts of north Denver.

But by using data mined from state vital statistics and electronic health records, a new Center for Health Equity at Denver Health will try to target research, education and recruitment of medical professionals to the neighborhoods that have the most need.

You can read the whole thing here.


Erica Meltzer

Author: Erica Meltzer

Erica Meltzer covers government and politics. She's worked for newspapers in Colorado, Arizona and Illinois and once won a First Amendment Award by showing up in the wrong place at the wrong time. She served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay and can swear fluently in Guarani. She gets emotional about public libraries. Contact Erica Meltzer at 303-502-2802, or @meltzere.