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California Counts, Report · August 2007

Death in the Golden State: Why Do Some Californians Live Longer?

Helen Lee and Shannon McConville

Despite overall gains in life expectancy over the past century, significant disparities exist in longevity among California’s different racial and ethnic groups. This issue of California Counts provides a detailed demographic portrait of the state’s mortality rates and causes of death. The authors find that for almost all chronic conditions and injuries except suicide, black men and women have higher age-adjusted death rates than whites. Many of these black-white disparities persist even among similarly educated individuals. Hispanics and Asians have a mortality advantage over whites for almost all diseases and injuries and across education levels, with some important exceptions such as cirrhosis and diabetes among Hispanics.


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