How Long Americans Live Depends on Where They Live
A new study has found that how long Americans live depends on where they live.
Researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation or IHME at the University of Washington in Seattle found that the gap between counties with the highest and lowest life expectancies is larger now than it was in 1980. And life expectancy is falling in some counties. The researchers say this shows there is a large "and growing inequality in the health of Americans."
Several counties in the states of North and South Dakota, where many Native Americans live, have the lowest life expectancy rate. In Oglala Lakota County, South Dakota, the life expectancy was 66.8 in 2014.
There has also been a drop in the life expectancy rate in counties in poor areas of Kentucky and West Virginia. In Owsley County, Kentucky, life expectancy was 72.4 years in 1980. But by 2014 it had fallen to 70.2.
Some of the counties with the highest life expectancy are in the western state of Colorado. Summit County had the longest life expectancy at 86.8 years. It was 86.5 in Pitkin County and 85.9 in Eagle County.
The average life expectancy in the United States was 79.1 in 2014.
Dr. Ali Mokdad is one of the authors of the study. He says the findings demonstrate an urgent need "to reduce inequality in the health of Americans."
He says "federal, state and local health departments need to invest in programs that work and engage their communities in disease prevention and health promotion."
The study showed that spending more money on healthcare does not appear to increase life expectancy.
The United States spends more per person on health care than many developed countries -- $9,237 per person in 2014. That compares to $4,032 spent by Australia, which has a life expectancy of 82.3 and Japan, which spent $3,816 and has one of the highest life expectancies in the world at 83.1.
Laura Dwyer-Lindgren is a researcher at IHME and one of the authors of the study. She says examining "life expectancy on a national level masks the massive differences that exist at the local level, especially in a country as diverse as the United States. Risk factors like obesity, lack of exercise, high blood pressure, and smoking explain a large portion of the variation in lifespans, but so do socioeconomic factors like race, education and income."
Dr. Christopher Murray is the director of the IHME. He says "the inequality in health in the United States -- a country that spends more on health care than any other -- is unacceptable. Every American, regardless of where they live or their background, deserves to live a long and healthy life. If we allow trends to continue as they are, the gap will only widen between counties."
The study was published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.
I'm Phil Dierking.
1.life expectancies 预期寿命
They had longer life expectancies than their parents.
2.deserves to 应得的
I think your husband deserves to receive a medal.
3.health care 卫生保健；医疗
He's already solicited their support on health care reform.
4.socioeconomic factors 社会经济因素
The study of socioeconomic factors is important in order to understand various groups within society.
1.Every American, regardless of where they live or their background, deserves to live a long and healthy life.
regardless of 不管；不顾
Regardless of whether he is right or wrong, we have to abide by his decisions.
The fields give high and stable yields regardless of climatic circumstances.
2.He says the findings demonstrate an urgent need "to reduce inequality in the health of Americans."
an urgent need 迫切需要
The earthquake victims are in urgent need of medical supplies.
This is an urgent need to rise to national attention and action of a social problem.
西雅图华盛顿大学的健康指标和评估研究所（IHME）研究人员发现，如今预期寿命最高的与最低的郡之间的差距较1980年更大 。一些郡的预期寿命正在缩短 。研究人员表示，这说明美国人的健康状况“存在着日益严重的不平等现象” 。
美国北达科他州和南达科他州的几个郡里生活着许多美洲原著居民，他们的预期寿命是最低的 。在南达科他州的奥格拉拉拉克塔郡，2014年的人均预期寿命只有66.8岁 。
而在肯塔基州和西弗吉尼亚州的贫困地区，人均预期寿命也有所下降 。1980年，肯塔基州的奥斯利郡的人均预期寿命为72.4岁 。2014年的人均预期寿命下降至70.2岁 。
预期寿命最高的郡分布在西部的科罗拉多州 。萨米特郡的预期寿命高达86.8岁 。皮特金郡是预期寿命为86.5岁，而伊格尔郡为85.9岁 。
阿里·莫卡德（Ali Mokdad）博士是该研究的作者之一 。他指出，调查结果表明，“减少美国人在健康方面的不平等”需要十分迫切 。
与许多发达国家相比，美国的人均医疗卫生开销更高——2014年为人均9237美元 。而人均预期寿命为82.3岁的澳大利亚的人均医疗开销只有4032美元；作为全球预期寿命最高的国家之一，日本人均医疗开销仅3816美元，而人均预期寿命为83.1岁 。
劳拉·德威尔·林德格伦（Laura Dwyer-Lindgren）是IHME的研究员，也是该研究的作者之一 。她指出，“一个国家的预期寿命掩盖了地方之间存在的巨大差异，尤其是美国这种多元化的国家 。如肥胖、缺乏锻炼、高血压和吸烟等危险因素成为预期寿命差异较大的部分原因，然而种族、教育和收入等社会经济因素也有一定的影响 。”
克里斯托弗·默里（Christopher Murray）博士是IHME的主任 。他指出：“美国在医疗卫生的投入比其他任何国家都多，但美国人在健康状况方面的不平等让人难以接受 。每一位美国人，无论他们住在哪里或背景如何，都应该过上健康、长寿的生活 。如果任由该趋势发展，各郡之间的差距只会扩大 。”