Best in Moderation
A recent study shows how politics and health outcomes have become more intertwined over time. From 2001 to 2019, researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital looked at death rates and information on federal and state elections for all counties in the United States. The researchers discovered a “mortality gap,” or an increasing divergence in age-adjusted death rates in counties that had supported Democrats or Republicans in prior presidential and governor elections.
The research team discovered that death rates dropped by 22% in Democratic counties but only by 11% in Republican areas. Heart disease and cancer were among the top diseases where the mortality disparity increased, and over the research period, the death difference between white inhabitants of Democratic and Republican counties approximately quadrupled. The study’s findings were published in the British Medical Journal.
“In an ideal world, politics and health would be independent of each other and it wouldn’t matter whether one lives in an area that voted for one party or another,” said corresponding author Haider Warraich, MD, of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Brigham. “But that is no longer the case. From our data, we can see that the risk of premature death is higher for people living in a county that voted Republican.”
Data from the CDC WONDER database and the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Election Data and Science Laboratory were both used by Warraich and his colleagues. Based on how a county had voted in the last presidential election, they classed counties as Democratic or Republican. Mortality rates were also adjusted for age.
Article URL : https://scitechdaily.com/a-mortality-gap-republicans-are-dying-at-a-higher-rate-than-democrats/