The likelihood of early death for men and women age 20 to 55 is highest in West Virginia, Mississippi, and Alabama. In contrast, same-age residents of Minnesota, California, New York, and several northeastern states have a lower probability of premature mortality.
“We are seeing dangerous disparities among states,” said Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, whose organization coordinated the study. “Unless and until leaders of our health care system work together to mitigate risks, such as tobacco, alcohol, and diet, more Americans will die prematurely, and in many cases, unnecessarily.”
The study, published today in JAMA, covers 1990 to 2016; it is part of the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, a comprehensive effort to quantify health internationally, covering 333 diseases and injuries and 84 risk factors. It is the most comprehensive state-by-state health assessment ever undertaken and includes estimates of prevalence, incidence, death, life expectancy, and several other summary health metrics for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the nation overall..