Mapping the Link Between Life Expectancy and Educational Opportunity []


By Renee Ryberg, Nadia Orfali Hall, Claire Kelley, Jessica Warren, and Kristen Harper, Child Trends, January 2020

In 2015, an average 15-year-old could expect to live to age 79. However, teens living in the 1 percent of neighborhoods with the lowest life expectancies could expect to live to 70β€”a lifespan nine years shorter.

Educational attainment, a key social determinant of health, is one of the most powerful predictors of life expectancy. This association has strengthened over the past 20 years, placing our nation’s schools at the forefront of initiatives to improve teen health outcomes and reduce health disparities.

Measures of educational attainment, however, provide state and local officials with little actionable information to guide their efforts. To effect change, officials need data that both identify the factors that influence educational attainment and illustrate the educational experiences schools provide.

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Yesterday I attended my 1st meeting of the Ballad Health (30 plus counties in 4 states - KY, NC, TN, VA) hospital system Accountable Care Community meeting in the health sector.   We talked a lot about our goals and actions for the next 4 years to address ACE's and resiliency in children.  Of course, we (our region) are in the crosshairs of the "deaths of despair" -- cf. Case and Deaton... and our life expectancy is decreasing among white, non-Hispanic males and females.   Although education is important, Case and Deaton talk about marriage, employment, religion, and social connection...of course, the latter being the point of Robert Putnam in a forthcoming book he has in the works.  We are looking at having our James Quillen College of Medicine 1st year med students get a summer internship experience drilling down on health geography and county typologies (rural and urban)...but as indicated, county level is not good enough and census block group data would be nice and is our ultimate goal.  Also a no brainer is the community piece and what do we do?  While we are good at Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) we also like Community Participatory Process Evaluation (CPPE), with which we have far less experience -- me at or on LinkedIn TonyDeLucia

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