The best region among the high life expectancy in Japan

healthy old woman

The highest life expectancy region in Japan, Nagano prefecture

Most of us know the high life expectancy in Japan and some people seek for the secret behind it. Even there, Nagano prefecture boasts the highest life expectancy even in Japan.

Nagano wasn’t originally a long-lived prefecture. According to statistics from 1965, the life expectancy was 9th in men and 26th in women there, among all 47 prefectures in Japan.
Mountains on all sides surround Nagano Prefecture, and they traditionally eat preserved foods with salt. For this reason, Nagano Prefecture had Japan’s fourth-highest salt intake and a high mortality rate due to high blood pressure and stroke around 1960.

However, since 1990 for men and 2010 for women, Nagano has remained to boast the longest average life expectancies in Japan.

Nagano is also the top healthy life expectancy region.

Furthermore, Nagano Prefecture’s elderly employment rate is 26.7%. It is also the highest in Japan.
In other words, not only is life expectancy high in Japan, but healthy life expectancy (the age at which people can live independently) is also long there, ranking first for both men and women.

Nagano is an ideal model for the aging society of healthy and long life.

What makes them lowest from cancer mortality?

Nagano Prefecture has the lowest cancer mortality rate in Japan.

However, Nagano Prefecture is one of the few prefectures in Japan that does not have a “cancer center” that many other prefectures have. The number of general hospitals is below average at 33rd out of 47 prefectures.
On the other hand, the number of community centers responsible for citizens’ health care and disease prevention is the highest in Japan. Its number of public health nurses is also the second highest in the country.

It shows one secret of Nagano Prefecture’s success lies in “preventive medicine,” They place priority on the prevention of getting sick rather than medical treatment after they become ill.

This kind of medical care in Nagano Prefecture, now called the “Nagano Model,” started with the “salt reduction campaign” initiated by doctors who were enthusiastic about regional medicine.

(Continued to the next post, how come Nagano turned a healthy region?)

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