How Americans Die May Depend On Where They Live

Anna Maria Barry-Jester in FiveThirtyEight:

Barry-jester-mortality-1-newMortality due to substance abuse has increased in Appalachia by more than 1,000 percent since 1980. Deaths from diabetes, blood and endocrine diseases also increased in most counties in the United States during that time.

That’s according to a new study, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, examining the mortality rates for 21 leading causes of death. The study also found that the death rate from cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of mortality in the U.S., is down in most parts of the country. And the research highlights numerous disparities between counties. For example, a newborn is nearly 10 times more likely to die from a neonatal disorder if she is born in Humphreys County, Mississippi, which has the highest neonatal mortality rate in the country, than if she is born in Marin County, a wealthy area north of San Francisco, which has the lowest rate.

The study also looked at how mortality from the 21 causes of death has changed over time, from 1980 through 2014. For example, neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s were the third leading cause of death in 2014 and were prevalent across the country. But they have become more common in much of the South, while decreasing in the West.

More here.