According to a 2019 report by Woolf and Schoomaker,1 average life expectancy in the US began to level off in 2010 and then declined from 2014 to 2017. Although life expectancy increased slightly in 2018, concerted actions to address the “cumulative insults to the nation’s health” are warranted,2 especially considering the increase in mortality in 2020 due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Among many potential solutions, “legal determinants of health,” namely how law can address underlying causes of premature mortality,3 merit examination and consideration. Cost-effective evidence-based laws can safeguard the public’s health, reduce disparities, and extend life expectancy across socioeconomic groups, especially in disproportionately affected regions of the US. Despite their promise, public health laws are underutilized.
Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.
Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.
Err on the side of full disclosure.
If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.
Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.
Gostin LO, Hodge JG, Levin DE. Legal Interventions to Address US Reductions in Life Expectancy. JAMA. 2020;324(11):1037–1038. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.7715
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: