The poor are even better at dying than they used to be

Pax Arcana

While overall life expectancy has risen since the 1960s, the Harvard School of Public Health says poor people are even better at dying than they were back when Pappy would set his own broken leg with an ironing board and a rusty bicycle chain:

“There has always been a view in U.S. health policy that inequalities are more tolerable as long as everyone’s health is improving. There is now evidence that there are large parts of the population in the United States whose health has been getting worse for about two decades,” said Majid Ezzati, associate professor of international health at HSPH and lead author of the study.

Fine, but where are these poor people exactly? My guess is they’re concentrated in suburban New Jersey and Massachusetts, with a strong contingent in the Bay Area.

Damn. Guess I was wrong:

The majority of the counties that had the worst downward swings in life expectancy were in the South, along the Mississippi River, and in Appalachia, extending into the southern portion of the Midwest and into Texas.

Public health outreach programs in areas like Appalachia are notoriously difficult to maintain over time, because local coordinators are often “ate.”

Life expectancy worsening or stagnating [Harvard Gazette]


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