Health Buzz: Which States Have the Highest Life Expectancies?

If Kate Middleton uses hypnobirthing, should you? Plus, myths and facts about weight loss

Two couples on patio with cake and gift smiling

CDC Takes a State-by-State Look at Average Life Expectancies of 65-Year-Olds

A somewhat morbid thought may begin to dwell in the minds of aging baby boomers: How many more years will I live? A new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may shed some light on the thought. The report estimates the life expectancies of people at age 65 and accounts for how many of those years will be spent in good health. The figures are organized by state, sex and race. The average 65-year-old in Hawaii, for example, has another 21.3 years to live, with 16.2 of them spent in good health. While Hawaii tops the list of life expectancies for people age 65, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Minnesota and New York also boast average expectancies of 20 years or more. Those spending their golden years in Mississippi have the lowest life expectancies, with an average of 17.5 total years and 10.8 healthy years estimated. Other states in the South – Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana and West Virginia – also landed at the bottom of the list, along with Oklahoma. Check out the report to see where your state falls, along with patterns among sex and race.

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  • If Kate Middleton Uses Hypnobirthing, Should You?

    If, as it's been reported, Kate Middleton is using hypnobirthing to usher in the royal baby, her delivery scene might look something like this: The Duchess of Cambridge rests languidly, her eyes closed as if in a peaceful slumber. Every so often, on experiencing a "surge," (the hypnobirthing term for contractions), she'll breathe along with it, as if being lifted by an ocean wave. Gentle music plays while she relaxes further, visualizing herself cradled in the misty hues of a rainbow or her hand gloved in endorphins (good-feeling, pain-numbing hormones) activated by Prince William's gentle strokes of her arm. Gracefully, she breathes – not pushes – a calm and healthy baby through her body.

    It's a far cry from the way childbirth is often portrayed on TV and in movies, where a writhing-in-pain woman-turned-demon excoriates her petrified husband for doing this horrific thing to her.

    Does it have to be so bad? As a young woman, Marie "Micky" Mongan felt sure there was a better way. "Babies didn't need to come into the world in pain, and their mothers didn't need to suffer as they did," says Mongan, who founded HypnoBirthing – The Mongan Method nearly 25 years ago after helping her daughter and two of her daughter's friends replicate her childbirth experience. "I had four children without a smidgen of pain," says Mongan, now 80. "I'm not unusual," she says. "I'm a woman." [Read more: If Kate Middleton Uses Hypnobirthing, Should You?]

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    • Myths and Facts About Weight Loss

      Collectively, my patients have shed thousands of pounds through our work together, writes U.S. News blogger Tamara Duker Freuman. I've worked with preteens through octogenarians; men and women; healthy folks and others struggling with chronic diseases. While each patient's weight-loss journey is unique, there are some common threads I've observed along the way:

      1. The number on the scale is not a precise measurement of your weight – at least no more so than the account balance listed on your monthly bank statement is a precise representation of your wealth.

      How much money do you have? It depends on when you check your bank account and can vary wildly even over the course of a day. Five minutes after your paycheck is directly deposited, you may appear flush, but once your monthly mortgage payment is automatically deducted six hours later, the picture changes significantly. Your bank account is a dynamic entity in constant flux, with deposits flowing in and bill payments flowing out. A snapshot at any moment in time – such as the balance presented in your monthly bank statement – may be the best indicator you have as to the state of your financial affairs, but it's not a static truth. A more accurate way to assess your financial status might be to consider your average account balance each week or perhaps for the month. [Read more: Myths and Facts About Weight Loss]