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Where you live, combined with race and income, plays a huge role in
the nation's health disparities, differences so stark that a report issued
Monday contends it's as if there are eight separate Americas instead
Asian-American women living in Bergen County, N.J., lead the nation in
longevity, typically reaching their 91st birthdays.
Worst off are American
Indian men in swaths of South Dakota, who die around age 58 three
Millions of the worst-off Americans have life expectancies typical of
developing countries, concluded Dr. Christopher Murray of the Harvard
School of Public Health.
Asian-American women can expect to live 13 years longer than low-income
black women in the rural South, for example.
That's like comparing women in wealthy Japan to those in poverty-ridden Nicaragua.
Compare those longest-living women to inner-city black men, and the life-expectancy gap is 21 years.
That's similar to the life-expectancy gap between Iceland and Uzbekistan.
Murray was surprised to find that lack of health insurance explained only a small portion of those gaps. Instead, differences in alcohol and tobacco use, blood pressure, cholesterol and obesity seemed to drive death rates.
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