Inequities

American lives have been getting steadily longer, and since the 1960s that trend has been driven mostly by a remarkable reduction in heart disease. But those improvements have slowed dramatically. Scientists are now wondering whether we're approaching the end of the trend of longer, healthier lives.

That's because the steady decline in heart disease is fading.

Poor people who reside in expensive, well-educated cities such as San Francisco tend to live longer than low-income people in less affluent places, according to a study of more than a billion Social Security and tax records.

Side-By-Side Kansas Counties Are Worlds Apart When It Comes To Health

Mar 21, 2016

At her home studio in Westwood, Kansas, yoga instructor Marilyn Pace leads a class of 5-to-8-year olds. With the help of songs, games and other kid-friendly teaching methods, she guides her small students through poses like the cobra, the triangle and the downward-facing dog.

Tatjana Alvegard takes her daughter, Kaya, to Pace’s classes regularly.

Downtown Waco, Texas, looking north.
city-data.com

A new initiative is working to create a data dashboard that almost any city could use to get a handle on the health of its citizens. City-level health data can be critical when it comes to measures like reducing smoking or deciding where to build new parks and health clinics. Yet most health data is collected at the county, not the city level. That means city leaders looking to improve residents’ health lack a baseline of information to work from.

Quest For Blood Pressure Cuff Highlights Inequality

Feb 17, 2016

The doctor told Sharlene Adams to get a blood pressure cuff, so Adams set out to buy one.

For Adams, who lives in West Baltimore, that meant four bus rides, a stop for a doctor’s signature, two visits to a downtown pharmacy for other medical supplies, a detour to borrow money for a copay, a delay when a bus broke down, and, at last, a purchase at a pharmacy on the east side of town.

Is It Time To Stop Using Race In Medical Research?

Feb 8, 2016

Genetics researchers often discover certain snips and pieces of the human genome that are important for health and development, such as the genetic mutations that cause cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia. And scientists noticed that genetic variants are more common in some races, which makes it seem like race is important in genetics research.

The data on childhood lead poisoning in the U.S. is alarming. Nine counties report even higher levels than Flint, according to an article on Vox.com. Also alarming: more than half of states don't even report.

liquor bottles
GREYERBABY via Pixabay

When Kelli was growing up in the 1970s in suburban Johnson County, Kansas, southwest of Kansas City, it was a quiet, clean community boasting single-family homes and good schools. And with state laws prohibiting alcohol sales on Sundays, in grocery stores and by the glass, outsiders could have been forgiven if they found life there to be pretty straight-laced.

“You just never know what goes on behind closed doors,” says Kelli, who asked that her last name not be used.

Worlds Apart: Vast Disparities In Treatment Separate Americans With HIV

Jan 4, 2016

A major insurer said recently it would offer life insurance to HIV-positive people because of their rising life expectancies, prompting cheers from AIDS activists. But on the very same day,  the nation’s top disease control official described an America falling far short in its fight against AIDS.

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