Ohio’s life expectancy is among the worst in the United States

Data: CDC National Center for Health Statistics; Graphic: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

The average life expectancy at birth in Ohio is 76.9 years, according to the 2019 state-by-state report. data published by the CDC Last week.

  • This puts Buckeye State ranked 42nd nationally and makes us the worst of the 10 most populous US states.

Why is this important: Declining longevity points to underlying issues impacting the overall health and quality of life of Ohioans.

The big picture: Ohio joins neighbors Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia in the CDC’s lower rankings, along with most southeastern states.

  • Our expectation has dropped by about a full year since 2010.

Enlarge: Ohio’s Health Policy Institute sounded the alarm bells last year with a report which ranked Ohio 47th in health value, a composite measure of population health and healthcare spending in 2018.

  • The top three negative factors included childhood adversity and trauma, systemic inequities, and low spending on public health and prevention efforts.

Threat level: Ohio also ranks among risk factors tracked by the CDC, including obesity and cigarette smoking.

Yes, but: Large disparities in life expectancy exist between communities, with issues such as poverty and racism playing a part.

  • The institute noted a huge gap between residents of Franklinton, the census tract with the lowest life expectancy in Ohio (60), and Stow, a northeast Ohio suburb with the higher (89.2).
  • And the life expectancy of an Ohio woman was 5.2 years higher than that of a man in 2019, reflecting the national trend.

And after: Unfortunately, the situation will probably get worse before it gets better.

  • Although the CDC report lists the most recent state-by-state data available, it dates from before the pandemic began.

Use of national data that takes COVID-19 into account, the CDC recently reported that the US life expectancy has plummeted to 77 in 2020 from 78.8 in 2019 – the biggest one-year drop since World War II.

  • COVID-19 appeared as the third leading cause of death, after heart disease and cancer.
  • people of color were disproportionately impacted.

View the full interactive map.

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