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To assess trends in life expectancy and the contribution of specific causes of death to Native American-White longevity gaps in the Four Corners states, we used death records from the National Center for Health Statistics and population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau from 1999–2017 to generate period life tables and decompose racial gaps in life expectancy. Native American-White life expectancy gaps narrowed between 2001 and 2012 but widened thereafter, reaching 4.92 years among males and 2.06 years among females in 2015. The life expectancy disadvantage among Native American males was primarily attributable to motor vehicle accidents (0.96 years), liver disease (1.22 years), and diabetes (0.78 years). These causes of deaths were also primary contributors to the gap among females, forming three successive waves of mortality that occurred in young adulthood, midlife, and late adulthood, respectively, among Native American males and females. Interventions to reduce motor vehicle accidents in early adulthood, alcohol-related mortality in midlife, and diabetes complications at older ages could reduce Native American-White longevity disparities in the Four Corners states.
Omisakin, Olusola, Park, Hyojun, Roberts, Max, and Reither, Eric. "Contributors to Reduced Life Expectancy Among Native Americans in the Four Corners States." PLoS ONE, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0256307