Association Between Racial Wealth Inequities and Racial Disparities in Longevity Among US Adults and Role of Reparations Payments, 1992 to 2018

cartoon depiction of lifeline

Currently, there exists in America a sizable gap in life expectancy between Black and White individuals.

This cohort study, featuring more than 33,000 U.S. adults, aims to identify the existing health disparities and the potential health effects of a significant wealth transfer to Black individuals. The paper was recently published in JAMA Open Access.

Key Findings

  • Black participants’ median life expectancy was 4 years shorter than the median life expectancy for White participants
  • However, after adjusting for differences in wealth, survival did not differ significantly by race
  • Simulations conducted of payments (reparations) to close the mean racial wealth gap were associated with significant-to-complete reductions of this difference in life expectancy
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