HC Statistics Inequality

Excess mortality among Black Americans

A paper by Caraballo et al. (2023) published today uses CDC data to measure excess mortality among Black Americans between 1999-2020. They find that:

From 1999 to 2011, the age-adjusted excess mortality rate declined from 404 to 211 excess deaths per 100 000 individuals among Black males (P for trend <.001). However, the rate plateaued from 2011 through 2019 (P for trend = .98) and increased in 2020 to 395—rates not seen since 2000. Among Black females, the rate declined from 224 excess deaths per 100 000 individuals in 1999 to 87 in 2015 (P for trend <.001). There was no significant change between 2016 and 2019 (P for trend = .71) and in 2020 rates increased to 192—levels not seen since 2005. The trends in rates of excess years of potential life lost followed a similar pattern. From 1999 to 2020, the disproportionately higher mortality rates in Black males and females resulted in 997 623 and 628 464 excess deaths, respectively, representing a loss of more than 80 million years of life. Heart disease had the highest excess mortality rates, and the excess years of potential life lost rates were largest among infants and middle-aged adults.

Certainly there is much progress needed to improve health outcomes among Black individuals in the US.