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Today’s generation of less educated whites are living shorter lives than their parents’ generations did, a new study suggests. This is a striking change from previous generations, which have been increasing their longevity for decades.”We’re used to looking at groups and complaining that their mortality rates haven’t improved fast enough, but to actually go backward is deeply troubling,” John Haaga, of the National Institute on ageing, told The New York Times.
The steepest declines were for white women without a high school diploma, who lost five years of life between 1990 and 2008, said S. Jay Olshansky, a public health professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the lead investigator on the study, published last month in Health Affairs. By 2008, life expectancy for black women without a high school diploma had surpassed that of white women of the same education level, the study found.
White men lacking a high school diploma lost three years of life. Life expectancy for both blacks and Hispanics of the same education level rose, the data showed. But blacks over all do not live as long as whites, while Hispanics live longer than both whites and blacks.
The researchers suggest that drug overdoses, smoking rates and obesity could be to blame. Read more at The New York Times.
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