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AARP The Magazine evaluated over 20 measures of vitality to help make its decisions and incorporated not only the physical aspects of a community (clean air and water), but also the health and habits of people who live there, taking into special consideration the health needs of people age 50+. Communities were chosen based on various criteria including opportunities for exercise, number of doctors in the area, availability of healthcare, diagnosis of health problems, healthy eating habits, and more. The magazine also evaluated quality of life measures such as housing affordability, the local economy, educational resources, crime, climate, recreational amenities, and arts and culture to help make their selections.
"The cities we chose are ahead of the healthy living curve with access to healthcare facilities, numerous options for exercise, activities, volunteerism, and a culture that supports vitality," said
AARP The Magazine's Top 10 Healthiest Cities to Live and Retire for 2008:
AARP The Magazine's special report examines which cities excelled in key areas of longevity, vitality, and wellness.
Full criteria included: Cardiac mortality rates (age-adjusted), prescriptions for control of hypertension, cholesterol (per capita), physician diagnoses of diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, obesity (BMI), smoking cigarettes, alcohol use, access to affordable healthcare, physicians and cardiologists in area (per capita), fast food outlets (per capita), state legislation for smoke-free workplaces and public places, percent having a health plan, percent unable to afford health care, percent of residents who had a recent routine checkup, healthy eating (salads, fruits, vegetable servings per day), regular exercise, commuting by bicycle or walking, stress index (indicators include depression, divorce, suicide, crime, unemployment, etc.), teaching hospitals (per capita), hospital beds available (per capita), and hospitals with emergency rooms. Sources included CDC WONDER Compressed Mortality File (2000-2004), Medical Marketing Services, CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey (2004-2006), AMA membership rolls (2007), Info USA, database of establishments (2007), Americans for Nonsmokers Rights – compilation (2007), U.S. Census, Claritas, Inc., Sperling's BestPlaces analysis, American Hospital Directory (2008).
Additional information about this year's selections can be found in the September/October issue of AARP The Magazine or online at www.aarpmagazine.org.
For a copy of the magazine or to speak with an AARP The Magazine editor, please contact
About AARP The Magazine
With more than 34 million readers nationwide, AARP The Magazine (www.aarpmagazine.org) is the world's largest circulation magazine and the definitive lifestyle publication for Americans 50+. Reaching over 23.5 million households, AARP The Magazine delivers comprehensive content through in-depth celebrity interviews, health and fitness features, consumer interest information and tips, book and movie reviews and financial guidance. Published bimonthly in print and continually online, AARP The Magazine was founded in 1958 and is the flagship title of AARP Publications.
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 33 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's 39 million members and Americans 50+; AARP Segunda Juventud, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the