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Where You Live Could Raise Your Risk of Dying of Lung Cancer

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Where You Live Could Raise Your Risk of Dying of Lung Cancer

Living in integrated areas lowers risk of dying from lung cancer

African Americans living in highly segregated areas have a higher risk of dying from lung cancer, according to a recent study from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and published in JAMA Surgery.

The study, the first to look at segregation as a factor in lung cancer death rates, found that those living in highly segregated areas are 20 percent more likely to die from the disease than those who live in more integrated areas. The disparity was the same even after researchers accounted for differences in smoking rates and socio-economic status, leading them to believe other factors were behind the discrepancy. Roughly 32 percent of Americans live in counties with high segregation.

Though the JAMA report doesn’t examine the causes behind the mortality rate disparity, other studies on American segregation have found that access to health insurance and medical care is elusive in highly segregated areas with larger minority populations.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. African Americans have the highest incidence of the disease and are more likely to die from it. For every million black males, 860 will die from lung cancer, compared with 620 among every million white males.

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BHM Edit Staff