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Where You Live May Determine How You Die

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Tuesday, 13 Dec 2016 02:29 PM

Where you live may, in part, determine how you die. That’s the upshot of a new death-records analysis that finds what kills Americans differs widely by region and even by county.

The study by the University of Washington is the first of its kind to examine geographic mortality patterns for a larger number of causes and account for variations in how states track deaths, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The analysis released Tuesday examined more than three decades of death records and found:

  • Mortality rates from cardiovascular disease are highest in areas along the southern half of the Mississippi River.
  • Deaths from self-harm and interpersonal violence are highest in pockets of the Southwest.
  • Mental and substance use disorders are the most deadly in parts of West Virginia, Kentucky, and the Dakotas.
  • Deaths from cirrhosis and other liver diseases — often tied to alcohol — are most pronounced in pockets of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and a other western states.

“It’s much more complicated than saying ‘Everything’s bad in Mississippi and Alabama, and everything’s good in places with high life expectancy,’” said Christopher J. L. Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington and an author of the study.

Even individual states saw wide variations by county. South Dakota, for example, has counties with both the highest, and the lowest, rates nationally for mortality from liver diseases.
The study, published in JAMA, used death records from the National Center for Health Statistics from 1980 to 2014.
 

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Where you live may, in part, determine what kills you. That's the upshot of a new death-records analysis that finds what kills Americans differs widely by region and even by county.
death, rate, regional, factors, american
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2016-29-13
Tuesday, 13 Dec 2016 02:29 PM
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