Life Expectancy & Mortality

Life Expectancy
Life Expectancy & Social Determinants of Health: 2016 Study
In 2016, Napa County HHSA - Public Health did extensive research on mapping the social drivers of health and how that reflects on life expectancy across the county. That work resulted in the video below showing Napa County's life expectancy by census tract. The areas in red have the shortest life expectancy and the areas in green have the longest life expectancy. In Napa County, the average life expectancy was 81, the same as the statewide average and slightly above the national average of 79. 
While the factors that determine life expectancy are complex, social drivers of health -- such as income and education -- are directly correlated with life expectancy. In this 2016 study, within the city of Napa, the neighborhood with the highest life expectancy had a median income of $106,513 while the neighborhood with the lowest life expectancy had a median income of $61,345. 
Within the county, there was a 12-year gap between neighborhoods with the highest life expectancy (88 years) and the lowest life expectancy (76 years). Play the video to the left to learn more about the association between social drivers of health and life expectancy.
Life Expectancy: 2022 Map
What does life expectancy mean? Life expectancy is an epidemiological concept that estimates how long the average person in an area will live. This metric is a measure of all factors affecting the population's mortality for that specific location and a specific year of birth using mortality data and population size. Pandemics, earthquakes, changes in population structure, and other factors can affect these estimates, as well as changes in all the causes that can lead to death. The map to the right shows life expectancy at birth for 2022, which can be compared with the 2016 study above.  
The life expectancy for people born in Napa County in 2022 is 81 years. This is an estimate that assumes this population's life conditions stay the same from birth through the rest of their lives. Within Napa County, the gap between the highest average life expectancy census tract (92 years) and the lowest (75 years) is 17 years, up from a 12-year gap in 2016. Many factors could have increased this gap, including the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, increases in substance use disorder, and the increase in income disparity, rent, gas, and food prices that affects the population's wellbeing and social drivers of health. 
The census tract 2009, which is home to Napa State Hospital, has been excluded from this map because life expectancy data is not available for this population.  
Top Causes of Death
The California Department of Public Health looked at the top ten causes of death in Napa County from 2014 to 2021. Diseases of the heart and malignant neoplasms (cancers) were the most common causes of death by a wide margin. 
For more information on this data, visit the California Health and Human Services Open Data Portal.
California Community Burden of Disease
The California Community Burden of Disease is a tool for epidemiologic analysis and to provide systematic scientific insight to inform public health planning, evaluation, and action. The snapshot below shows 4 metrics for Napa County in 2021; top causes of death, top conditions responsible for years of life lost (a way to measure premature deaths), top increases in causes of death over the last ten years, and top causes of death with the largest race disparity from 2019 to 2021. Visit the California Community Burden of Disease Engine for more information. 
Examples of how to understand the charts:
  • There were 172 deaths in Napa County in 2021 associated with ischemic heart disease (Deaths, 2021) and these deaths resulted in the loss of 453.5 years of life for every 10,000 residents of Napa County (Years of Life Lost, 2021).                                                                   
  • Napa County residents who identify as White are 1.5 times more likely to develop ischemic heart disease than Napa County residents who identify as Hispanic (Race Disparity in Deaths, 2019-2021).                                                                          
  • The number of deaths in Napa County associated with Alzheimer's disease increased by 40.2% between 2011 and 2021 (Increase in Death Rates, 2011 to 2021*).
Life Course
Life course mortality charts show the leading causes of death by age group. This information can help build prevention strategies targeted for different audiences. For example, knowing that substance use disorder is a leading cause of death among younger age groups, one focus of the Napa County Opioid Coalition is substance use disorder among youth. For older age groups, chronic conditions like stroke and hypertension are more common. Focusing efforts on improving social determinants of health -- like access to green spaces, healthcare, healthy foods, social connections -- will positively affect all of us. 

The links below provide additional information for many of the health topics discussed on this page: