While U.S. death rates have declined overall, marked geographic disparities exist at the state level in burden of disease, injuries, and risk factors, according to a comprehensive analysis.
Life expectancy varies substantially, for example, ranging from a high of 81.3 years in Hawaii to a low of 74.7 years in Mississippi, according to results from the analysis of data from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study ().
Previously decreasing death rates for adults have reversed in 19 states, according to the analysis, which covers the years 1990 to 2016.
Hardest hit were Kentucky, New Mexico, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Wyoming, which had mortality increases of more than 10% among adults aged 20-55 years. Those increases were largely due to causes such as substance use disorders, self-harm, and cirrhosis, according to the US Burden of Disease Collaborators, who authored the report.
“These findings should be used to examine the causes of health variations and to plan, develop, and implement programs and policies to improve health overall and eliminate disparities in the United States,” the authors wrote.
Overall, U.S. death rates have declined from 745.2 per 100,000 persons in 1990 to 578.0 per 100,000 persons in 2016, according to the report.
Likewise, health outcomes throughout the United States have improved over time for some conditions, such as ischemic heart disease, lung cancer, and neonatal preterm complications, the report says.