Cause of Disparity in Rate of Years of Potential Life Lost African-American vs White (not Latino)

New York Finger Lakes Region

The overall YPLL rate for African-Americans is 74 percent higher than it is for white (not Latino) – 8,375 vs. 4,816. The pie chart shows the causes of premature mortality that explain this large disparity. Homicide and heart disease each explain roughly a quarter of the overall disparity. The third leading driver is the significantly higher rate of death from premature birth disorders among the black population. The largest contributors to the ‘other’ category of disparity are: congenital and chromosomal disorders; sarcoidosis; and ill-defined/unknown cause of death.


Methodology note: The SES index ranking was developed by Common Ground Health and calculated using a variety of socioeconomic indicators from the American Community Survey including average income, poverty rates, education levels, housing value, and homeownership. Each ZIP code is assigned a socioeconomic (SES) index ranking from 1 to 5. The lower SES ZIP codes tend to have lower average income, higher poverty rates, lower prevalence of college degrees, etc.

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.

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