Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Life expectancy gap between blacks and whites in U.S. varies considerably across states

Date:
August 4, 2014
Source:
McGill University
Summary:
Racial differences in life expectancy have declined in the United States, but still vary substantially across states, according to a new study. The findings suggest that state policies could play a key role in further reducing racial differences in mortality. The researchers calculated annual state-specific life expectancies for blacks and whites from 1990 to 2009 and found that progress was uneven across states during the past two decades.

Racial differences in life expectancy have declined nationally but still vary substantially across U.S. states, according to a new study by McGill University researchers. The findings, published in the journal Health Affairs, suggest that state policies could play a key role in further reducing racial differences in mortality. The researchers calculated annual state-specific life expectancies for blacks and whites from 1990 to 2009 and found that progress was uneven across states during the past two decades.

Related Articles


"Prior studies in the United States have shown that, for the nation as a whole, the difference in life expectancy between blacks and whites has declined over the past two decades," says Sam Harper, of the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics & Occupational Health in the Faculty of Medicine. "What was not known was how individual states have fared in reducing this gap."

Harper and his colleagues assessed for the first time how U.S. states have performed over the past two decades. "Some states have clearly done much better than others. For example, we found large improvements in New York, but the gap actually increased in Wisconsin. More generally, we found that states in the Northeast made considerably more progress than states in the West for both men and women, but even within regions of the U.S. there was a lot of heterogeneity among states," says Harper, the study's first author.

The team used novel statistical techniques coupled with data from death certificates and estimates of the population in each U.S. state to calculate life expectancies, even for some states with small black populations.

"For both men and women, New York state made far and away the largest contribution to reducing the national black-white gap," says Harper. "However, other states with comparatively large black populations like California and Texas kept the national gap from closing more than it did. We know from prior work that fewer deaths from HIV/AIDS and homicide played a big role in New York's life expectancy improvements. Our results suggest that other states may benefit from a detailed study of how and why the gap decreased so much in New York."

Black-white differences in life expectancy are a longstanding source of public health concern in the United States, and are considered indicative of deeper social inequities in society.

"We want to know how to reduce these differences. Given that many social and health policies are implemented at the state level, looking at how specific states have fared can provide important clues for addressing these health inequalities. Our results should be of particular interest to state public health officials focused on reducing racial differences in health."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by McGill University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Harper, R. F. MacLehose, J. S. Kaufman. Trends In The Black-White Life Expectancy Gap Among US States, 1990-2009. Health Affairs, 2014; 33 (8): 1375 DOI: 10.1377/hlthaff.2013.1273

Cite This Page:

McGill University. "Life expectancy gap between blacks and whites in U.S. varies considerably across states." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140804171027.htm>.
McGill University. (2014, August 4). Life expectancy gap between blacks and whites in U.S. varies considerably across states. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140804171027.htm
McGill University. "Life expectancy gap between blacks and whites in U.S. varies considerably across states." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140804171027.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Riding High On Strong Surface, Cloud Performance

Microsoft Riding High On Strong Surface, Cloud Performance

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) Microsoft's Q3 earnings showed its tablets and cloud services are really hitting their stride. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) EU leaders achieve a show of unity by striking a compromise deal on carbon emissions. But David Cameron's bid to push back EU budget contributions gets a slap in the face as the European Commission demands an extra 2bn euros. David Pollard reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins