As we’ve noted in various previous posts, Georgia’s premature death rate (known formally as Years of Potential Life Lost before age 75, or YPLL 75) has been improving fairly steadily over the 20 years that the state’s Department of Public Health (DPH) has been compiling pertinent data. Between 1994 and 2013, the state’s YPLL 75 rate improved from 9,195.6 to 7,104.7, a gain of 19.4 percent. The national median, as reported the Robert W. Johnson Foundation in its latest County Health Rankings, was 7,681, so Georgia is doing a little better than the nation as a whole.
But, as we’ve noted in past posts, Georgia’s improvement has been far from even; we’ve focused in particular on regional differences and the dramatic gap in YPLL 75 performance between Metro Atlanta and the rest of the state. Until now, however, we haven’t looked at racial or gender comparisons, and that produces a couple of interesting headlines. One is that the vast majority of gains in premature death rates between 1994 and 2013 have been made in the black population. The other is that rural white females are losing ground. Read more