Race: 8 Factors That Cause Early Death


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — The average person in the US will live to celebrate their 76th birthday. That’s according to the CDC. What’s more … there’s a 30 percent chance you will see your 90th birthday. And more people than ever before are making it to 100!  But there is a big difference when it comes to how long you will live if you’re black. A new study reveals eight factors that play a role when it comes to race and mortality.

Making it to 100 is something to celebrate—but making it to 100 when black is even harder! Race

A new study out of Tulane University reports black adults who live in the US have a 59 percent higher risk of premature death than white adults.

Joshua D. Bundy, PhD, MPH, Assistant professor of Epidemiology at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine says, “We wanted to do a big study to try to see if we could explain what is actually responsible for the differences.”

Bundy believes disparities in eight social economic factors are to blame and they are all interrelated.

“Those who don’t have any high school education at all are at the highest risk.” says Bundy.

Education impacts employment, which impacts healthcare. Bundy says, “Maybe you then don’t have access to health insurance.”

Income impacts access to healthy choices.

“Maybe there are good interventions for food security, like providing food assistance programs and things like that.” says Bundy.

The study found home ownership is an indicator of what people can and cannot afford. Even marital status matters.

“Being married may offer social support. There’s a lot, there has been a lot of debate on whether this is some kind of genetic reason, if it’s based on your genes, if it’s something that’s predetermined or because of biology, or even just things like behavioral and lifestyle factors that may be different. But what our study is really saying is that it’s really explained all by social factors.” explains Bundy.

Bundy believes by knowing how these things impact our lives, we can work to build systems to solve these disparities—and hopefully see more people, of all races, live longer, healthier lives. Race

The CDC is also focusing on social determinants of health with their Healthy People 2030 initiative. They’re using data driven facts to help policymakers address the race-based mortality gap in the next decade. Professor Bundy says there is zero difference between black and white adults for mortality risk once these eight factors are dealt with.

Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.Matt Goldschmidt, Videographer






REPORT #3168

BACKGROUND: Socioeconomic factors such as employment, education, and income are a direct link to our health. A person’s employment status and occupation directly impact their health whether they work outside or inside, and whether they do physical labor or sit at a desk on a computer. Both can lead to emotional and physical health consequences. Education is another factor that determines health. Research shows that by the age of 25, a college graduate is expected to live a decade longer than a high school dropout. Finally, income and health are another factor directly related. Households with low-income levels show high levels of illness and mortality due to the lack of economic resources.

(Source: https://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/health_equity/socioeconomic.htm)

REDUCING SOCIOECONOMIC DIFFERENCES: Studies show that people of color face higher rates of illnesses like diabetes, obesity, stroke, heart disease, and cancer than whites. These chronic illnesses, along with lower wages and inadequate insurance coverage limits their access to treatment. There are efforts to reduce poverty and promote economic development in vulnerable communities. A new research program started by The National Institutes of Health addresses the high chronic disease rate among people of color, as well as people of disadvantaged socioeconomic status. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health program has also been successful in reducing smoking rates and improving nutrition among communities of color. Finally, efforts are being seen in the Department of Health and Human Services Disparities Action Plan to address issues such as provider shortages, gaps in health data collection, access to coverage, and racial and ethnic disparities in cancer prevention and care.

(Source: https://www.healthaffairs.org/content/forefront/united-states-can-reduce-socioeconomic-disparities-focusing-chronic-diseases)

INTIATIVE TO BUILD HEALTHY PEOPLE: Every decade, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) releases The Healthy People initiative. It is designed to give us a guide and promote national health and disease prevention efforts to improve the overall health of the nation. The focus is aimed at identifying nationwide health improvements; increasing public awareness and understanding of health, disease, and disability; providing measurable goals at the national, state, and local levels; and identifying the needs for critical research, evaluation, and data collection. They see the importance of providing information and tools to help communities, states, and organizations improve their health and well-being.

(Source: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/healthy_people/index.htm#:~:text=The%20Healthy%20People%20initiative%20is,the%20health%20of%20the%20nation)

* For More Information, Contact:

Andrew Yawn, Asst. Director of Public Relations

Tulane University



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