ZIP code trumps genetic code | September 2, 2011 | Mountain View Voice | Mountain View Online |

Mountain View Voice

News - September 2, 2011

ZIP code trumps genetic code

Community health forum at Google hails Mountain View as exemplary

by Daniel DeBolt

The message of a city- and county-sponsored event at Google this week was quite clear: where you live plays a larger role in your health than you might think.

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Posted by MV Resident, a resident of Old Mountain View
on Sep 1, 2011 at 3:05 pm

ZIP code correlates highly to income. And income correlates highly to health and life expectancy.

But correlation does not imply causation. ZIP codes that contain a lot of hospitals probably show a higher mortality rate. Was this caused by their ZIP code? Probably not.

Even the correlation between income and health is not necessary causal. Having more money may give you access to better health care. But it also may be a result of a more conscience person, who is more likely to take care of their health and not engage in activities that correlate to earlier death.

This whole notion that ZIP codes which have more walkable schools and trails causes better health is not very well based. Could it simply be that ZIP codes with more walkable schools and trails are higher income, and income correlates to health?

Regardless, people will write whatever sounds good and serves the purpose at hand.