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I especially like this part:Gap in life expectancy in U.S. growing
By Robert Pear
Published: March 23, 2008
WASHINGTON: New government research has found "large and growing" disparities in life expectancy for richer and poorer Americans, paralleling the growth of income inequality in the past two decades.
Life expectancy for the nation as a whole has increased, the researchers said, but affluent people have experienced greater gains, and that, in turn, has caused a widening gap.
One of the researchers, Gopal Singh, a demographer at the Department of Health and Human Services, said "the growing inequalities in life expectancy" mirrored trends in infant mortality and in death from heart disease and certain cancers. Singh said last week that federal officials had found "widening socioeconomic inequalities in life expectancy" at birth and at every age level.
He and another researcher, Mohammad Siahpush, a professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, developed an index to measure social and economic conditions in every county, using census data on education, income, poverty, housing and other factors. Counties were then classified into 10 groups of equal population size.
In 1980-1982, Singh said, people in the most affluent group could expect to live 2.8 years longer than people in the most deprived group (75.8 versus 73 years). By 1998-2000, the difference in life expectancy had increased to 4.5 years (79.2 versus 74.7 years) and it continues to grow, he said.
& lastly, universal health care would probably reverse the trend:The difference between poor black men and affluent white women was more than 14 years (66.9 years versus 81.1 years).
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/03/23/america/health.phpLower-income people are less likely to have health insurance, so they are less likely to receive checkups, screenings, diagnostic tests, prescription drugs and other types of care.