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Health Headlines: 8 factors that play a role in life expectancy

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – The average person in the US will live to celebrate their . That’s according to the CDC. What’s more…there’s a 30 percent chance you will see your 90th birthday. And more people than ever before are making it to 100! But there is a big difference when it comes to how long you will live if you’re black. A new study reveals eight factors that play a role when it comes to race and mortality.

Making it to 100 is something to celebrate. But making it to 100 when black is even harder!

A new study out of Tulane University reports black adults who live in the US have a 59 percent higher risk of than white adults.

Joshua D. Bundy, PhD, MPH, Assistant professor of Epidemiology at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine says, “We wanted to do a big study to try to see if we could explain what is actually responsible for the differences.”

Bundy believes disparities in eight socioeconomic factors are to blame and they are all interrelated.

“Those who don’t have any high school education at all are at the highest risk,” says Bundy.

Education impacts employment, which impacts healthcare. Bundy says, “Maybe you then don’t have access to health insurance.”

Income impacts access to healthy choices.

“Maybe there are good interventions for food security, like providing food assistance programs and things like that,” says Bundy.

The study found home ownership is an indicator of what people can and cannot afford. Even marital status matters.

“Being married may offer social support. There’s a lot, there has been a lot of debate on whether this is some kind of genetic reason, if it’s based on your genes, if it’s something that’s predetermined or because of biology, or even just things like behavioral and lifestyle factors that may be different. But what our study is really saying is that it’s really explained all by social factors.” explains Bundy.

Bundy believes by knowing how these things impact our lives, we can work to build systems to solve these disparities—and hopefully see more people, of all races, live longer, healthier lives.

is also focusing on social determinants of health with their Healthy People 2030 initiative. They’re using data-driven facts to help policymakers address the race-based mortality gap in the next decade. Professor Bundy says there is zero difference between black and white adults for mortality risk once these eight factors are dealt with.

Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.Matt Goldschmidt, Videographer