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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Assessing Disparities in Life Expectancy in Chicago

Abigail Silva, MPH and Steven Whitman, PhD. Sinai Health System, Sinai Urban Health Institute, California at 15th Street, K439, Chicago, IL 60608, 773-257-5785, sila@sinai.org

Life expectancy (LE) is among the most important measures of the health of a population. As part of an evaluation of Chicago’s progress towards meeting the Healthy People goal of eliminating health disparities, trends in life expectancy are assessed.

Life expectancy calculations depend upon age-specific mortality rates. Numerators were derived from the state Vital Records files and denominators drawn from the 1980, 1990 and 2000 Censuses. Calculations followed the Chiang techniques. LE was calculated for all Chicago and broken down by gender, race/ethnicity and community areas (CAs). Standard errors for these life expectancies were also calculated. Two tailed tests of significance and confidence intervals were constructed employing the 95% confidence level.

Although from 1990 to 2000 LE significantly increased for all demographic groups, disparities by gender and race/ethnicity were evident. Generally, women (77.6) fared better than men (70.55) and NH Whites (76.4) fared better than NH Blacks (69.1). The greatest disparities however were found in the CAs. The poorest and predominantly NH Black CA had a LE of 69.0 compared to 81.1 for the richest predominantly NH White CA. In addition, the more disenfranchised CAs experienced almost no significant increases in LE over the last 20 years.

While LE disparities by gender and race/ethnicity exist at the national and local levels, disparities at the smaller community level are more appalling. The role of race/ethnicity, poverty, and other social determinants need to be understood at the smallest geographic level possible in order to affect disparities at the larger levels.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Social Epidemiology

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA