In the United States, there is a measurable difference in life expectancy between whites and blacks. While this difference is attributable to several factors, new research suggests that, from a cardiovascular point of view, things are getting better. Especially for women.
Data just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that the difference in life expectancy because of death from cardiovascular causes (high blood pressure complications, heart attack, etc) is getting smaller. For example, in 1983 black women died an average of 2.03 years earlier than white women. This difference increased to 2.10 years in 1993, but decreased to 1.90 years by 2003.
This improvement is likely due to many factors, but increased numbers of people seeking medical care - and seeking medical care more quickly - plays an important role. While there is still a long way to go in equalizing this life expectancy gap, the recent improvement is a step in the right direction.