Health: Perils Of Being Born Black

Life expectancy for African Americans is sinking

No barometer of a nation's health is more closely watched than life expectancy. Since the turn of the century, when record keeping began, the U.S. trend has been upward for all segments of the population. Life expectancy for whites has risen from 48 years in 1900 to more than 75 today. Blacks have fared even better, more than doubling the number of years they could expect to live, from 33 to nearly 70. Now, however, an alarming change is taking place. While life expectancy for whites is still climbing, it is dropping for blacks.

That was confirmed by figures released last...

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