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West Coasters More Likely to Die From Exposure to Cold

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Californians may have avocados and sunshine year round, but those in the East Coast are better at surviving winters: The West coast sees two to three times more deaths due to cold exposure than other regions of the country per year, according to a new report in The BMJ.

Researchers looked at data from the U.S. National Vital Statistics System and analyzed the number of deaths relating to exposure to the cold between 2002 and 2013. Not surprisingly, the Southeast suffered the least from frigid temperatures (namely because of things like the fact that the average January temperature in Georgia isn’t even below freezing). But the West—an area including Alaska down to New Mexico and Washington over to Montana—has seen 21.4 deaths per million population over 11 years, compared to 11 deaths per million in the North East. This includes death from hypothermia, exposure to excessive natural cold, and the effect of reduced temperature.

The West may win when it comes to the best cities to sweat in (they claim half of The Top 10 Fittest Cities of 2013), The Best Places for Women-Owned Businesses (three of the top five), The Best Vacation Spots to Get Fit (five of 10), and even the best place to be a healthy home cook (four of the top five). But at least we East Coasters survive polar vortexes and nor’easters best (and, hey, Boston's got that whole snowiest winter record to brag about now!).

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