Life Expectancy and Years of Life Lost

Life Expectancy

In Jefferson County, the life expectancy at birth for males and females is slightly higher than Colorado and the United States, and life expectancy has been steadily increasing over time. The gap between female and male life expectancy is also improving, decreasing from a difference of 5.9 years in 1985 to 3.8 years in 2010. 

Life expectancy at birth, by sex, Jefferson County, Colorado, and United States (1985-2010)

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation – Left behind: widening disparities for males and females in US county life expectancy, 1985-2010

Life expectancy at birth, Jefferson County compared to Colorado (2015)

Source: CO Vital Records

Life expectancy at birth, by Census Tract,  Jefferson County (2011-2015)

Source: CO Vital Records, analysis by JCPH

While the life expectancy at birth in Jefferson County (80.8 years) as a whole is slightly greater than that of Colorado (80.6), there are significant inequities by geographic area in Jefferson County.

Between the census tracts in Jefferson County with the highest life expectancy (84.6 years) and those with the lowest life expectancy (69.3 years), there is a 15.3 year difference in life expectancy.

Many of the other maps that are included in this community health assessment reflect these areas with low life expectancy as areas of highest need.

The chart below shows the difference between life expectancy and healthy life expectancy. This difference indicates the number of years spent in fair or poor health in Colorado by race/ethnicity. The gap between white, non-Hispanics is much smaller (7.2 years) than between Hispanics (18.1 years) and blacks (12.8 years).

Source: Health Statistics Section, CDPHE: Health Watch, January 2012

Years Potential Life Lost

Years of potential life lost is a measure of premature mortality among people under 65 years of age. For example, an estimated 693.9 years of potential life per 100,000 persons are lost to those under the age of 65 due to accidents in Jefferson County. The leading contributors to years of life lost in Jefferson County are accidents, suicides and cancers. Jefferson County is either doing better than, or comparable to, Colorado for the top ten causes of years of potential life lost, as shown in the chart below.

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Data Sources

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation – Left behind: widening disparities for males and females in US county life expectancy, 1985-2010: http://www.healthdata.org/research-article/left-behind-widening-disparities-males-and-females-us-county-life-expectancy-1985

Colorado Vital Records Statistics, CDPHE: http://www.chd.dphe.state.co.us/cohid/Default.aspx

Health Statistics Section, CDPHE: Health Watch, January 2012: Living Longer? Living Better? Estimates of Life Expectancy and Healthy Life Expectancy in Colorado: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2nM-3jK5N8pSjR6VUYzaXZvekE/view

Health Statistics Section, CDPHE via Colorado Health Indicators Dashboard: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/colorado-health-indicators


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Published on July 17, 2018