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Premature Death in the US: States South of Mason-Dixon Line Suffer the Most From Potentially Preventable Deaths, Possibly Due to Poverty and Racism

2018-04-20

 

“Ten states with lowest probability of premature death: Minnesota, California, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Hawaii

Ten states with highest probability of premature death: West Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Arkansas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Tennessee, and South Carolina.”

from an online article in Doximity.com which quotes “the most extensive study ever conducted” comparing death rates state-by-state, coordinated by  the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.  Prime causes of premature death include alcohol and drug use, tobacco use, diabetes, and suicide (Utah appears to have the highest rate of suicide, despite very low rates of alcohol- and drug-associated premature death.  West Virginia had premature death rates from drug use that matched Utah’s rates from suicide.)

Bottom line: states suffering the worst are also poor and most significantly, lack adequate medical care facilities and providers, especially psychiatric providers.  The lack of good jobs appears to contribute most significantly to premature death from preventable causes so these deaths could be laid to the ravages of capitalism without pity.  That Southern states should suffer the most has some obscure relationship to the late effects of slavery and Reconstruction– but the relics of the Confederacy are evident everywhere in these states.

(photo of a 150 year old gravestone at the cemetery near the Kings River in Sanger CA by Conrad Seitz)

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