Race, Location Affect Probability of Survival to Age 70

Set of 22 socioeconomic and environmental variables account for almost all variability in S70

FRIDAY, April 20 (HealthDay News) -- The probability of a person surviving from birth to age 70 varies according to geographic location and gender, with a set of 22 socioeconomic and environmental factors accounting for almost all the variation, according to a study published online April 17 in PLoS One.

Mark Cullen, M.D., of the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, and colleagues examined the racial and regional variation in the probability of survival to age 70 (S70) for white and black males and females, while also investigating the source of this variation.

The researchers found that examination of the unadjusted S70 probability for each U.S. county revealed geographic differences for each race-gender group. For example, white males born in the 10 percent healthiest counties had an S70 of 77 percent, compared with 61 percent for those born in the 10 percent least healthy counties. Within each county there were large differences in S70 between blacks and whites -- an average of 12 percent for women and 17 percent for men. For each race-gender group, almost all the geographic variation resulted from a set of 22 socioeconomic and environmental variables (R² of 0.86 for white men and 0.72 for black women). The same of variables accounted for most of the race gap in S70.

"Examining the probability of survival to age 70 for each sex-race group by county, we illustrate in a novel way the geographic and race disparities in premature mortality," the authors write.

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