Eight Americas Details

Many of you probably caught the story posted in USA Today about life-expectancy variations across the US. But in my effort to bring science closer to the common man, I would like to recommend everyone check out the actual research paper online. You can find “Eight Americas: Investigating Mortality Disparities across Races, Counties, and Race-Counties in the United States” by Christopher J. L. Murray1,2,3, Sandeep C. Kulkarni2,4, Catherine Michaud2,3, Niels Tomijima3, Maria T. Bulzacchelli3, Terrell J. Iandiorio3, Majid Ezzati1,2* on the Public Library of Science web site.

There are some very interesting details that never made it into the more distributed articles.

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This graphic depicts County life expectancies by Race and Sex.
A) Life expectancy at birth for black males and females. Only counties with more than five deaths for any 5-y age group (0–85) were mapped, to avoid unstable results.

(B) Life expectancy at birth for white males and females.

Just the distribution of Blacks in America is interesting alone, not to mention the life expectancy variations. This next graph shows the results of a clustering analysis that was able to detect 8 broad clusters of citizenry that displayed common health statistics.

journal-pmed-0030260-g002

Here is how Life expectancy by sex has evolved.

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Quite an interesting disparity emerges. Then the authors go on to explain the ten leading risk factors,

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Most of which are controllable. And when you factor in the effect of violence and health care coverage….the picture becomes much clearer.

journal-pmed-0030260-g005

Probability of Death between the Ages of 15 and 59 y in the Eight Americas

(A) Probability of death between the ages of 15 and 59 y in the eight Americas from all causes.

(B) Probability of death between the ages of 15 and 59 y in the eight Americas after deleting deaths from homicide and HIV.

journal-pmed-0030260-g006

Health Care Coverage

Most of the major issues highlighted in the study are under our control, if we can just apply some collective action and education.
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