Report: Race, ethnicity and address biggest predictors of premature death in NoVa
A new report this month by the Center on Society and Health at Virginia Commonwealth University shows race, ethnicity and neighborhood are the biggest predictors of whether a Northern Virginian will die before reaching the age of 75. Furthermore, those factors had a greater impact on whether people lived or died during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to before it.
Disparities in accessing health care are “not an accident, and it has a lot to do with policy choices – much of it’s rooted in systemic racism,” said Dr. Steven Woolf, the lead study author and director emeritus of VCU’s Center on Society and Health.
The VCU researchers analyzed the racial and ethnic makeup of counties, legislative districts and census tracts before the pandemic from 2015 to 2019 and identified 15 “islands of disadvantage” – marginalized neighborhoods with low life expectancies often located only a few blocks away from much more affluent communities.
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