Jan 21, 2021 - Health

Racial disparities in mortality aren't improving

Racial disparities in mortality haven't budged, despite an increasing awareness of the problem and a focus on social determinants of health, according to a new report published in JAMA.

The big picture: Black mortality remains far higher than white mortality in America's 30 largest cities, according to the study.

By the numbers: Nationwide, Black Americans' mortality rate was 24% higher than white Americans' between 2016 and 2018. That translates to about 74,402 excess Black deaths.

  • Washington, D.C. had the biggest disparity, with a death rate for Black residents more than twice as high as the white mortality rate.

The bottom line: The pandemic has highlighted the stark racial inequities in the U.S. health care system and the American economy, but it didn't create them. These disparities are deeply entrenched, and in the country's biggest cities, they're not getting any better.

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