PerspectiveChild Health

Hope for America's next generation

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Science  06 May 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6286, pp. 661-662
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf7270

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Summary

A deluge of recent studies has shown that poorer communities suffer worse health outcomes. Among low-income Americans, life expectancy at age 40 in the poorest areas of the U.S. is 4.5 years lower than in the highest-income areas (1). In 2010, infant mortality rates in the poorest U.S. communities were over 70% higher than those in the most affluent ones [see tables S3 and S4 in (2)]. On page 708 of this issue, Currie and Schwandt paint a more complicated but encouraging picture (2). They show that, despite rising inequality in almost every dimension of American life, the child mortality gap between the poorest and the richest counties has shrunk in recent decades.