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    Life expectancy gap between Black and white Americans has closed nearly 50% in 30 years, study finds

    The life expectancy gap between black and white Americans narrowed by almost 50% between 1990 and 2018, and was expected to close completely by 2036, when life expectancy stalled after 2012.Credits: Janet Currie, Princeton University

    The permanent gap in life expectancy between black and white Americans is highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, this gap has narrowed by almost 50% in 30 years. This is primarily due to improvements among African Americans. Minutes of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

    Co-authored by researchers at Princeton University’s Center for Health and Welfare, this study analyzed and compared data from 1990 to 2018. Mortality Between black and white Americans through the lens of the place. They also compared the United States and Europe to provide benchmark comparisons.

    They discovered in 1990 that black Americans lived seven years less than whites. But by 2018, that number had dropped to 3.6 years. Improving life expectancy in the poorest counties helped narrow the gap, especially as black Americans are more likely to live in the poorest areas. The reduction in black mortality caused by cancer, HIV, homicide, fetal and neonatal conditions was particularly important to fill the gap.

    yet, Average life Since 2012, all groups in the United States have stalled, with white Americans losing their place compared to Europeans in both rich and poor regions. The US opioid epidemic is one of the key causes of these declines, but researchers suggest that more work needs to be done to investigate additional factors. If improvement had continued at the previous rate, the racial gap in life expectancy would have been closed by 2036.

    Janet M. Curry, Professor of Economic Affairs and Public Relations at Princeton University and Co-Director of the Princeton University Center, said: Health and welfare. “Improved access to Health care All safety net programs have helped improve life expectancy for African Americans. Still, since 2012, the positive trends of all groups have been so complexly reversed that we need to better understand. “

    Both the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement have highlighted disproportionate health inequalities between black and white Americans, but researchers have found that in the years before the pandemic occurred. We wanted to quantify these differences in terms of life expectancy trends. To do this, they analyzed data from the National Center for Health Statistics and the National Center for Health Statistics operated by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Their goal was to see if racial differences in life expectancy evolved differently in richer and poorer parts of the United States. They ranked American counties based on poverty rate and placed them in groups of fixed population size. This allowed them to analyze trends across ages and races at the same relative poverty rate location. It is important to take age into account to explain whether changes in life expectancy are based on the stages of a person’s life. For example, people over the age of 65 are eligible for Medicare, which can play a role in extending life expectancy.

    They also say whether the United States has mortality rates in richer regions of the country similar to those in European countries compared to Europe, or whether both rich and poor Americans tend to be delayed. I wanted to understand how to judge. They worked with researchers from nine European countries, including the Czech Republic, United Kingdom, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Spain, to analyze all the data in a similar framework. These countries represent different economic conditions.

    Over the last three decades, White Americans are increasingly lagging behind Europeans. Within Europe, even relatively poor countries like Portugal were able to catch up with rich countries by 2018 in terms of life expectancy, but the United States was lagging behind. At the same time, the life expectancy of black Americans began to fall well below the life expectancy of both Europeans and white Americans in 1990, but grew faster than the life expectancy of Europeans.

    Like the United States, life expectancy in Europe has stagnated since 2014, suggesting that there may be something in common. Previous studies have linked life expectancy flattening in the United States to a lack of further improvement in the fight against cardiovascular disease, the authors suggesting that this may also be true in Europe.

    Interestingly, infant health improved significantly in all three groups, especially among black Americans. Medicaid, supplemental nutrition support programs (SNAPs), safety net programs such as earned income tax credits, and lower pollution levels in poorer areas all contribute significantly to lower mortality. Investing in maternal and child health could also allow the United States to catch up with Europe.


    Life expectancy in the United States in 2020 was the biggest decline since World War II


    For more information:
    “Inequality in mortality between black and white Americans from 1990 to 2018 by age, location, cause, and compared to Europe” PNAS (2021). DOI: 10.1073 / pnas.2104684118 , www.pnas.org/content/118/40/e2104684118

    Provided by Princeton Faculty of Public International Affairs

    Quote: The life expectancy gap between black and white Americans closed by almost 50% in 30 years, findings (2021, September 28) https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-09- Obtained September 28, 2021 from life-gap-black-white-americans.html

    This document is subject to copyright. No part may be reproduced without written permission, except for fair transactions for personal investigation or research purposes. The content is provided for informational purposes only.

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