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My Longevity

Aging is an individual thing, and it differs from generation to generation. In most cases, aging predetermines the average life expectancy of a population. Sometimes certain ethnic groups prove to be unable to grow old and die from aging. That happens because of different negative factors, such as environment, standards of living, bad health, etc. Even when living on the same territory, different races tend to differ in their life expectancy. Men and women also display different rates of mortality and life expectancy. Somehow white males and females living in America under the same conditions show different life expectancy. The same is with African-American and Hispanic males. Race and gender play an important part in estimating the average duration of life.

Nowadays, life expectancy of white males is six years longer than life expectancy of black males. Moreover, African-American females are predicted to live seven years longer than African-American males. Black men have higher mortality rates than white men before they reach 65 years. Only then, the difference begins to decline. According to the data of 2004, after reaching the age of 65, white and black men can live up to 17.1 and 15.3 years more respectively. So, the disparity is only around 2 years instead of 6.

However, the problem is that the majority of black people do not live to the old age because of health problems or accidents. Unfortunately, with the sequence of time, the gap between life expectancy of whites and blacks remains huge. Yet, today, a baby born in America can be expected to live 77.8 years, which is almost the highest rate of life expectancy among all countries. An average Caucasian or American white person can live 78 years. For white men, it is 76.4 years, and for white women it is 81.1 years. African-Americans, in their turn, live much less – 74.8 years, men – 71.6, and women – 77.8 years.

It is true that the lifestyle and the standard of living are significant factors in life expectancy rates. Crime rates are also important in estimating the average life duration. For example, Hispanic communities tend to promote strong social relationships between people and limit access to alcohol and illegal drugs. Alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs are the main reasons why most populations have health problems and high mortality rates. All that leads to heart diseases and deaths, equally for all races and genders. According to the 2005 article in the New England Journal of Medicine, there are those populations which are on the verge of decline in life expectancy because of the latent effect of rising childhood obesity, and there also other populations, for which the process has already begun. Due to the statistics, the proper lifestyle, which includes sport activities and healthy food, depends on the level of education of different population subgroups. Therefore, less educated white men and women are prone to harmful eating habits and overweight, which causes many diseases.

Surprisingly, Hispanic group is considered one of those low-income populations that have high life expectancy levels. As it was mentioned above, Hispanics prefer alcohol and cigarettes free life and healthy eating habits. Yet, the statistics say that those Hispanics who immigrate to highly developed countries, such as the U.S., tend to live longer than those who remain at home. Therefore, the living conditions influence their lives significantly. Besides that, the factor of gender also has an impact on disparities in life expectancy of Hispanics. Hispanic women have the highest longevity rates of all the gender sub-groups, followed by white women and then white men. The average life expectancy of Hispanics is 81.4 years, comprising of 78.9 years for men and 83.7 years for women.

Despite the highest disease rates for illnesses, such as diabetes, Hispanics keep living longer than many Caucasian and African-American people. The reason for that is the Hispanic culture, which is demonstrated through their family ties and aspects of their lifestyle. All that provides protection that can overshadow the negative influences of the environment.

All over the world, women have an advantage over men in healthy life expectancy. In general, women live 2 years longer than men. The main reason for that is that women are genetically stronger and take fewer risks than men do. Nevertheless, Asian countries can be considered an exception. There, women experience various forms of discrimination and thus their life expectancy is equal or shorter than men’s. The reason for that is female’s discrimination at each stage of lifecycle, which has a negative impact on women’s health and successful life.

I belong to the group of African-American males. Mainly, I think that life expectancy depends on a person and not on the overall statistics. The longevity of a particular person cannot be predetermined by his or her race or gender. I think it is more about the style of life this person follows. Having learned more about the reasons why some ethnic groups live less than others, I can conclude that everything depends on healthy eating habits and sport activities. I believe that someday life expectancy of African-Americans will increase to the rates of Caucasians and white Americans, because our society goes steadily to that goal.

One of the most important things, to my mind, is not the duration of life, but its quality. No one would want to live 100 years with illnesses and pain. Healthy life expectancy is the thing which has to be the number one goal of the modern society. That is why it is important to strive for equal living conditions for all races including Hispanics, Asians, African-Americans and Caucasians.

The essay was written by the professional writer from college discussion board - Betty Bilton. 

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