HEALTH

Texas-Mexico Border Residents Are Poor and Lack Insurance, Yet Live Longer

  • RIO GRANDE CITY, TX - AUGUST 05:  Children walk across a railroad bridge August 5, 2008 in Rio Grande City, Starr County,Texas, along the border with Mexico. By many social indicators, Starr County is the poorest county in the United States. Few of its residents have full health or dental insurance and many of them must travel across the border to Mexico in order to get medical attention and buy medicine. The two-week Operation Lone Star, run by the Texas armed forces and state health officials, provided free medical care to more than 10,000 people in areas along the Texas-Mexico border.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

    RIO GRANDE CITY, TX - AUGUST 05: Children walk across a railroad bridge August 5, 2008 in Rio Grande City, Starr County,Texas, along the border with Mexico. By many social indicators, Starr County is the poorest county in the United States. Few of its residents have full health or dental insurance and many of them must travel across the border to Mexico in order to get medical attention and buy medicine. The two-week Operation Lone Star, run by the Texas armed forces and state health officials, provided free medical care to more than 10,000 people in areas along the Texas-Mexico border. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)  (2008 Getty Images)

  • RIO GRANDE CITY, TX - AUGUST 05:  Children walk across a railroad bridge August 5, 2008 in Rio Grande City, Starr County,Texas, along the border with Mexico. By many social indicators, Starr County is the poorest county in the United States. Few of its residents have full health or dental insurance and many of them must travel across the border to Mexico in order to get medical attention and buy medicine. The two-week Operation Lone Star, run by the Texas armed forces and state health officials, provided free medical care to more than 10,000 people in areas along the Texas-Mexico border.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

    RIO GRANDE CITY, TX - AUGUST 05: Children walk across a railroad bridge August 5, 2008 in Rio Grande City, Starr County,Texas, along the border with Mexico. By many social indicators, Starr County is the poorest county in the United States. Few of its residents have full health or dental insurance and many of them must travel across the border to Mexico in order to get medical attention and buy medicine. The two-week Operation Lone Star, run by the Texas armed forces and state health officials, provided free medical care to more than 10,000 people in areas along the Texas-Mexico border. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)  (2008 Getty Images)

Many residents who live along the Texas/Mexican border are poor, lack health insurance and have high dropout rates – yet they live longer than many other people in Texas – and the country, a new study shows.

A Texas study by the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation examined the state county-by-county. The study, first reported by The Texas Tribune, showed that the lowest mortality rates tended to be along the border with Mexico.

In two Texas counties, Hidalgo and Cameron, the average life span was 80 – two years longer than the country’s life expectancy rate.

The Texas Tribune says a diet rich in low-fat Mexican food, physically demanding jobs, and health care received across the border in Mexico could be the reason for longer life expectancy rates. Though it also questioned the validity of the numbers, considering how transient the border towns are in Southern Texas.

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