A few hardcore ski bums might have awakened Tuesday morning and blinked their eyes in disbelief, but Clear Creek County, Co., where I live, ranks first in the U.S. for longevity, according to a Harvard School of Public Health study appearing in the Sept. 12 issue of Public Library of Science Medicine.
In fact, seven Colorado counties are the top seven ranked counties in the nation, all with a life expectancy of 81.3 years. And it hardly seems coincidental that all seven — Clear Creek, Eagle, Gilpin, Grand, Jackson, Park and Summit — lie either on, near or adjoining the Continental Divide and are spectacularly beautiful. Dr. Ned Calonge of the state health department told the Rocky Mountain News in Denver that there’s nothing magical about high-country air. He thinks the longevity results are because Colorado residents have active lifestyles, low smoking rates and the lowest-in-the-nation numbers for obesity.