WKYT - Perry - Headlines

Life expectancy in Perry County lowest in the country

By: Erika Glover Email
By: Erika Glover Email

PERRY Co., Ky. (WYMT) - One study suggests many people in the mountains will not make it to their golden years.

Women in Perry County have the lowest life expectancy in the nation.
Around 72 years.

This is based on findings from one study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Several other counties in the region are in the bottom 20 for life expectancy among women and men.

WYMT's Erika Glover spoke with two women.

One who says she is taking preventive measures in her everyday activities to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Another who wishes she took better care of herself in her younger years.

Sixty nine-year-old Wilma Sturgill says she is dealing with high blood pressure, cholesterol and arthritis.

"When I was younger I should have taken better care of myself. I didn't," said Sturgill.

Three to four days a week Sturgill says she visits the Hazard Perry County Senior Citizens Center.

"I try to take better care of myself and be active," said Sturgill.

Carolyn Caudill is the owner at East Main Family Fitness.

She says she works out six days a week.

"I work out because it makes you healthy," said Caudill. "Your metabolism slows down when you get older and you have to work out to burn fat and stay healthy."

At the Hazard Clinic, Dr. Wicker says tobacco use, poor dieting and lack of exercise are to blame for women's low life expectancy.

"Increasing your activity at any age will help you," said Dr. Wicker. "Watching your diet at any age will help you. Anything you would do at a younger age will help when you're older."

In the study officials say women in Perry County with the median income of a little more than $32,000 have the lowest numbers.

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