The breakdown of the premature mortality disparity for African-American males is not very different from the breakdown for all African-Americans. Homicide and heart disease account for approximately half of the overall disparity, although homicide is a significantly larger driver of disparity among males. The other major contributing factors are in similar proportion to the overall African-American breakdown. However, it is important to note that the magnitude of the overall YPLL disparity is much larger for men than women, so while heart disease accounts for a smaller portion of the overall disparity for men (21 percent vs. 27 percent for women), the magnitude of the heart disease disparity is larger for men (1,038 YPLL vs. 736 for women).
Methodology note: Years of potential life lost (YPLL) is a widely used measure to assess the rate of premature mortality. YPLL places a larger weight on the deaths of younger people, in contrast with overall mortality statistics which are dominated by deaths of the elderly. The YPLL rates in Common Ground Health analyses are derived using 75 years as the baseline. A death at age 65 has YPLL of 10, where as a death at age 35 has a YPLL of 40. The rates are calculated per 100,000 population and are age-sex adjusted to account for differences in population distribution.