In a new report released today, the Center on Society and Health and the Urban Institute provide detailed information on how states differ on measures of longevity, and how those measures of longevity are connected to dozens of potential drivers of health. For example, life expectancy varies more than 6 years across the states, from 75.0 years in Mississippi to 81.3 years in Hawaii.
The report, titled The Health of the States: Supplement 2: Spotlight on Life Expectancy and Mortality, is part of a series of reports from the Health of the States project. A Summary Report and the first supplement, Spotlight on Methods, were released in October 2016. The supplement released today takes a more detailed look at how states perform on four measures of longevity: life expectancy at birth, life expectancy at age 65, all-cause mortality, and years of potential life lost. For each of these measures, researchers provide data on outcomes for all 50 states and Washington, D.C., depict findings in maps and figures, and discuss regional trends.
In addition, researchers explore the connections between these longevity measures and 123 determinants of health – highlighting the strongest of those connections and providing context for why states may perform well or not. For example, in addition to smoking and physical activity, measures of income, education, and neighborhood resources correlated highly with all-cause mortality – suggesting interconnections between not only personal behavior but social and environmental resources and health.
Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the HOTS project is distinct from other health scorecards and rankings in the number of health outcomes and determinants included. By assessing and assembling 39 health outcomes and 123 determinants of health, the project provides a nuanced and textured profile of the links between health and potential drivers, such as safety of schools and neighborhoods, exposure to adverse childhood experiences (ACES), expanded Medicaid coverage, and investments in transit and social programs. This data is exposing new patterns in health outcomes and drivers that could be used to develop new policies and practices to improve population health and wellbeing.
Today’s release of the Spotlight on Life Expectancy and Mortality marks the first of several topic-specific follow-up releases for the HOTS project. In the coming months, the Center will release the remaining supplements, offering more detail on the relationships discovered between selections of health outcomes and the 123 determinants examined. The remaining Health of the States supplemental reports are as follows:
• Spotlight on birth outcomes
• Spotlight on child and adolescent health
• Spotlight on sexually transmitted infections
• Spotlight on injury fatalities
• Spotlight on adult health status
• Spotlight on overweight/obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular conditions
• Spotlight on cancer, lower respiratory disease, influenza and pneumonia, and Alzheimer’s disease
Visit the project page to learn more about HOTS, download the reports, and explore the data.