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Research Letter
September 2016

Race and Poverty Status as a Risk for Overall Mortality in Community-Dwelling Middle-Aged Adults

Author Affiliations
  • 1Laboratory of Epidemiology and Population Sciences, Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(9):1394-1395. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.3649

Recent data1 highlighted the association between income and longevity in the United States, particularly the increasing differences during 2001 through 2014 in life expectancies for people in the top 5% range of household income compared with those in the bottom 5%. However, as Woolf and Purnell2 note in their Editorial, these results depend on removing potential effects of race on mortality, especially the consequences of segregation, discrimination, and unequal resource distribution. It is important to know that income and longevity are associated, but addressing how this association contributes to health disparities and using this information to formulate public policy is impossible without considering the role of race differences.

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