May 8, 2017

The 20-year life expectancy gap within the U.S.

Life expectancy in the U.S. varies by more than 20 years depending on what county someone lives in, according to a new report in JAMA Internal Medicine. University of Washington researchers found the gap between counties grew from 1980 to 2014 and predicted the trend will continue.

Why it matters: Public health experts have said our zip code determines our health more than our genetic code — these findings show just how big the gap is, and that it is widening. Poverty, education, and unemployment as well as smoking, lack of exercise and access to quality health care explained 75% of the difference in life expectancy, illustrating there are many interconnected levers to pull in shaping health policy.

Reproduced from 'Inequalities in Life Expectancy Among US Counties, 1980 to 2014: Temporal Trends and Key Drivers'

Best and worse places: Central Colorado counties had the highest life expectancy (87 years) in 2014. North and South Dakota counties encompassing Native American reservations had the lowest-- 66 years.

Where things got worse: Life expectancy grew 5.1 years overall but in some places it actually fell between 1980 and 2014. 8 of the 10 counties with the largest declines in life expectancy are in Kentucky.

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Concern over coronavirus spread: Italy, South Korea and Iran report more cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The number of novel coronavirus cases in South Korea, Italy and Iran jumped on Sunday as infections in mainland China continued to grow, the latest figures show.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures amid rising case numbers, World Health Organization officials expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,619 people and infected almost 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Sanders reveals free childcare plan for preschoolers

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign rally on Saturday in El Paso, Texas. Photo: Cengiz Yar/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders announced on CBS' "60 Minutes" Sunday a new plan to guarantee free child care and pre-kindergarten to all American children from infancy to age four.

Details: In the wide-ranging interview, Sanders told Anderson Cooper he planned to pay for universal childcare with a wealth tax. "It's taxes on billionaires," he said.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Joe Biden places second in Nevada caucuses, ahead of Pete Buttigieg

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden a Nevada Caucus watch party in Las Vegas on Saturday. Photo: Ronda Churchill/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden secured second place in the Nevada Democratic caucuses with former Southbend Mayor Pete Buttigieg third, according to NBC News projections Sunday.

Why it matters: It's a boost for Biden, who's widely tipped to be endorsed by House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) on Wednesday, ahead of this week's South Carolina primary.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy