Prague - The Czech capital continues to be the center of longevity in the country, recently published statistics show.
Last year, the life expectancy at birth was 80 years for women and 75 years for men.
The region around the Northern Bohemia city Ústí nad Labem, with a long history of chemical industry production, is on the other end of the scale with woming averaging 75 years of life and men living to be 71.
The data were made available in a new publication by Institute of Health Information and Statistics of the Czech Republic. It confirms previous findings announced arlier this year by Czech Statistical Bureau (ČSÚ).
Prague a state within a state
Another region with a high life expectancy is the wine-growing Southern Moravia. The worst off, along with the above mentioned Ústí, is Northern Moravia, devastated by years of coal-mining and heavy industry production.
And somewhat paradoxically also Karlovy Vary region, place of the world renown spa which attracts many foreigners with a variety of ailments.
The experts are not surprised by Prague's high marks.
"Prague is different, almost like a state within a state. The economic situation is much better there than in the rest of the country, people are more educated and care more about their lifestyle. All that plays an important role," says Alena Jiroudková from the Czech Gerontological and Geriatrical Society.
"I think that the health care is about the same anywhere you go. Actually it influences the life expectancy only by ten to twenty percent," says Mrs. Jiroudková.
Biggest killer: circulation system problems
The experts themselves find it difficult to explain precisely why the life-span varies in different places. But the past of each region could be of influence, they say.
"Many immigrants came to the Norhern Bohemia in the past, which might have altered the character of the place. Even those factors have to be taken into considaration," explains Mrs. Jiroudková.
And what is the most common cause of death among the Czechs? By far the circulation system problems. They account for a half of all deaths.
"In general the circulation system diseases cause more deaths in Moravia, cancer kills more people in the Western part of the Czech Republic," the publication by Institute of Health Information and Statistics of the Czech Republic explains.
"The circulation system diseases are less common in larger cities like Prague, Pilsen or Brno and its surroundings. People in Pilsen however more than elsewhere suffer from malignant tumours, whereas in Moravia and Eastern Bohemia these do not feature prominently as a cause of death," authors of the publication point out.