This newspaper article presents Harvard University’s critical review of North American life spans. Highlighted is the concern that across three decades of efforts to make health services more available to those in need, healthy Americans still tend to live 30 years longer than the least healthy. The article contends that differences in access to adequate health care are not directly linked to income, insurance, infant mortality, AIDS or violence but rather to lifestyle choices that increase mortality such as tobacco and alcohol use, obesity and lack of exercise.
The article also provides direction for public health and other health care interventions that could reduce the disparity. Researchers have categorized healthcare groupings into 8 categories; Asian-Americans; Low-income whites in the rural northern Plains and Dakotas; “Middle Americans,” most of whom are white; Low-income whites in rural areas of Appalachia and the Mississippi Valley; American Indians in the West; “High-risk” urban blacks and Black middle Americans. Overall the article maintains concern that the disparity remains and continues to increase.