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Black Cincinnatians Add Years To Life Expectancy But Still Fall Behind Whites


More black Cincinnatians are living to see their 72nd birthday. But that's still three years shorter than their white counterparts.

The Cincinnati Health Department recently released a study that examined the health of the city's neighborhoods and took a broader look at communities based on race and gender.

Social factors like race, sex, age and other demographics can influence life expectancy. The department says studying health outcomes at a neighborhood level allows researches and residents to focus on demographic, environmental and social factors that influence health inequalities.

"There's been many improvements in reducing the barriers for the black population related to health increasing, access to care and improving screenings," Supervising Epidemiologist Maryse Amin says.

Outside of social factors, lack of exercise, high blood pressure and smoking can impact all demographics lifespans.

White Cincinnatians have seen a decrease in their life expectancy, which is the estimated average number of years a person is expected to live. Amin says they're looking at multiple factors to figure out why white people are losing years.

"In Cincinnati specifically, accidents - which are unintended injuries that include overdose deaths - have gone to the third leading cause of death," she says, adding that the majority of opioid related deaths are seen in white men.

Mt. Adams residents have the greatest life expectancy, living to approximately 88 years old. Residents there are expected to live 25 years longer than their next door neighbors in Lower Price Hill/Queensgate.

"These gaps can mean people in one neighborhood live 20 to 30 years longer than those just a couple blocks away," Cincinnati Health Commissioner Melba Moore said in a press release. "The inequalities are prevalent in neighborhoods with high levels of racial and ethnic segregation."

Depending on where you look, the U.S. life expectancy has increased since 1980.

Cincinnati health officials will host multiple community meetings to get feedback on how to tackle residents' needs.

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Ambriehl Crutchfield
Ambriehl is a general assignment reporter with interest in education and communities. She works to amplify underrepresented voices and advance daily news stories. She comes to WVXU with previous reporting experience at NPR member stations WBEZ in Chicago and WKYU in Bowling Green, Ky.