Life expectancy varies by US county: 5 study findings

The United States has wide gaps in life expectancy based on county, and this gaps show no sign of narrowing, according to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Researchers analyzed annual life tables be county from 1980 to 2014.

Here are five study findings:

1. Life expectancy for both sexes was 79.1 years in 2014.

2. When comparing the highest and lowest life expected county, the difference was 20.1 years.

3. Absolute geographic inequality in life expectancy worsened between 1980 and 2014.

4. While the absolute geographic inequality in mortality risk fell for children and adolescents, it increased among older adults.

5. Factors that led to the discrepancy included socioeconomic and race/ethnicity factors, behavioral and metabolic risk factors.

The researchers concluded " Policy action targeting socioeconomic factors and behavioral and metabolic risk factors may help reverse the trend of increasing disparities in life expectancy in the United States.

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