[extropy-chat] Life expectancy in the 'Eight Americas'
pharos at gmail.com
Tue Sep 12 19:00:31 UTC 2006
Harvard University September 12, 2006
Longevity Gap: Who, Where And Why Americans Live Longer Or Die Sooner
In the United States, the best-off people, like Asian women in Bergen
County, N.J., have a life expectancy 33 years longer than the
worst-off, Native American males in some South Dakota counties - 91
versus 58 years. So concludes the most comprehensive study to date of
who dies when and where in this country.
In order to determine how unequal life expectancy is in the United
States, and why, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health
and Harvard Initiative for Global Health analyzed census and health
statistics data for the years 1982 to 2001. They found what they call
"an enormous gap" in life expectancies based on race, counties of
residence, income, and a few other social factors.
The analysis led the researchers to the idea that there are "eight
different Americas." White middle America and black middle America are
different from each other (whites live longer than blacks) and from
low-income white America, Southern low-income rural black America,
Northern low-income rural white America, high-risk urban black
America, and Asian America.
"Put in a global context, the disparities in mortality among the eight
Americas are enormous," says Majid Ezzati, an associate professor of
international health at the School of Public Health. "Our analysis
indicates that 10 million Americans with the best health have achieved
one of the highest levels of life expectancy on record, three years
better than Japan for women, and four years better than Iceland for
men. At the same time, tens of millions of Americans are experiencing
levels of health that are more typical of people in developing
The full research article is online here:
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