Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Homicide is the largest contributor to potential years of life lost among black Americans
By contrast, homicide was the 12th highest contributor to potential years of life lost for white Americans. Potential years of lost life is the number of years a person would have lived had they not died of a particular cause. Heart disease is the leading cause of potential years of life lost among white Americans. The average age of a black American who died from a congenital abnormality was 15 years old, compared to 26 years old for a white American. And black Americans who commit suicide die, on average, 10 years earlier than white Americans who commit suicide (38 years old versus 48). The more than 2.7 million deaths in the United States in 2015 tallied up to nearly 21.4 million potential years of life lost. Black Americans accounted for 20% of these years despite representing only 13% of the U.S. population.