ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota lawmakers spend a fair amount of time discussing our state's economic health. In Governor Mark Dayton's State of the State address, he also addressed the physical health of the people of Minnesota.
"We have the second longest life expectancy in the nation for all of our citizens and we're number one for males," the Governor explained.
Males in Minnesota lead the nation for life expectancy. Females in Minnesota do not.
"I'll let the Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger explain that discrepancy and I expect that Representative Kahn will soon have a bill to correct it," Gov. Dayton added.
The line got a good chuckle out of Minneapolis Representative Phyllis Kahn, a DFLer who has been in the legislature for 40 years.
"Kahn will have a bill in her hands? I already have one," the always quotable Kahn told KARE 11. She is working on a bill on behalf of pregnant women.
Representative Kahn is 75 years old. She has run 50 marathons and still plays hockey. Perhaps, more importantly, she is known in the state as a voice for women.
"I bet our women's life expectancy in our state, I'm sure, is higher than men's life expectancy," Kahn said.
We took that quote to Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger.
"Females always live longer than males because they take fewer risks," he said.
Males in Minnesota live to an average of 78.3 years of age, whereas women live to 83.3 years of age. Nationally, women in Minnesota rank second in life expectancy, just behind Hawaii.
We asked Commissioner Ehlinger why Minnesota is doing so well. He says the state's medical system, the state's educational initiatives, and the state's high overall education level contribute to the ranking.
"We also do a lot of prevention activities. We do a lot of walking and exercising," he said.
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