After a period of progress in reducing disparities, improvements stalled, and differences between the Black population and the White population worsened in 2020…reports Asian Lite News
Black population in the US experienced more than 1.63 million excess deaths and over 80 million excess years of life lost, when compared with the White population over the last two decades, according to a new study.
After a period of progress in reducing disparities, improvements stalled, and differences between the Black population and the White population worsened in 2020, Xinhua news agency quoted the study published in the medical journal JAMA on Tuesday.
From 1999 to 2020, the disproportionately higher mortality rates in Black males and females resulted in 997,623 and 628,464 excess deaths, respectively, representing a loss of more than 80 million years of life, according to the study.
Although the nation made progress in closing the gap between white and Black mortality rates from 1999 to 2011, that advance stalled from 2011 to 2019. In 2020, the enormous number of deaths from Covid-19 — which hit Black Americans particularly hard — erased two decades of progress.
Heart disease had the highest excess mortality rates, and the excess years of potential life lost rates were largest among infants and middle-aged adults, according to the study.
Amid efforts in the US to promote health equity, there is a need to assess recent progress in reducing excess deaths and years of potential life lost among the Black population compared with the White population, it added.
In 2021, non-Hispanic white Americans had a life expectancy at birth of 76 years, while non-Hispanic Black Americans could expect to live only to 71, NBC News reported.
Much of that disparity is explained by the fact that non-Hispanic Black newborns are 2½ times as likely to die before their first birthdays as non-Hispanic whites. Non-Hispanic Black mothers are more than 3 times as likely as non-Hispanic white mothers to die from a pregnancy-related complication, (Hispanic people can be of any race or combination of races), it was reported.
The authors say these findings show the need to assess progress and indicates a need for new approaches to promote health equity in the U.S. They also called out the troubling impact of health disparities on children.