From MyDesert.com:

Ana Sanchez lives in a tiny trailer downwind of a soil recycling plant that air quality regulators said was the source last year of a noxious odor. The water has unhealthy levels of arsenic.

The 52-year-old’s only exercise is walking with her grandchildren around the grassless lot.

She doesn’t have a car to make the 20-minute drive to Coachella for groceries, or to the Oasis clinic where she sees a doctor for her diabetes. She depends on family and friends, or the clinic shuttle to pick her up.

Twenty-five miles down the road, Bill Powers lives within walking distance of a golf course at Indian Wells Country Club and maintains a 16 handicap.

In his home city of majestic, perfectly coiffed rows of palm trees, calming fountains and elegant restaurants, the 70-year-old and hospital board member sticks to chicken and fish, does yoga, enjoys a fine glass of healthy red wine from his cellar and sees his cardiologist regularly.

He even knows his cholesterol level: 155 to 160.

Who will live longer?

Statistically, Sanchez.

Average life expectancy in Powers’ 92210 ZIP code is 82.7 years, the second-highest in the Coachella Valley, according to statistics compiled for The Desert Sun by the Riverside County Department of Public Health.

That’s higher than the overall valley average age of 80.5 years, Riverside County’s 78.1 years, California’s 80.1 years and the United States’ 77.7 years.

But the life expectancy in Mecca’s ZIP code of 92254 is 86 years, the highest of any city in the Coachella Valley.

In most cases, education and money, like in Indian Wells, don’t just buy nicer cars and bigger houses.

They also buy better health and a longer life with bicycle paths, golf courses and personal trainers; healthy food and myriad places to get it; safer neighborhoods; lower crime and stress; primary care physicians, specialists and even personal, housecall doctors.

More.

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