Life Expectancy Gap Between Blacks and Whites Narrows

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  • A new study finds that the life expectancy gap between Whites and Blacks in the U.S. has narrowed in the past two decades.

    Previous studies found that Whites were expected to outlive Blacks by three to five years.

    The new findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals that the gap has now declined to one year, the lowest point ever recorded.

    The report found a dramatic drop in the life expectancy gap between 2003 and 2008. The life expectancy between Black and non-Hispanic White men declined from 6.5 years to 5.4 years with Black men living 70.8 years and White men 76.2 years. For women, the study showed a 3.7 year difference with Black women living to about 77.5 years and non-Hispanic White women living to approximately 81.2 years.

    Researches attribute the fast decline to the lower mortality rates among Blacks dying from H.I.V infection, heart disease, and homicide.  The new study also revealed that the rise in rate of drug-related deaths among Whites has contributed to tightening the gap.

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