Cleaveland: Appalachia suffering from deteriorating health

Dr. Clif Cleavaland explores the health disparities found in Appalachia. 

Appalchia map.JPG

The statistics are devastating: From 1992 to 1994, infant mortality in Appalachia, 9.2 per 1,000 live births, was close to the rest of the country, 9.3 per 1,000 live births. From 2009 to 2013, infant mortality showed a 16 percent increase relative to the areas outside Appalachia. Income is a determining factor in infant mortality. Appalachian infant mortality is 39 percent higher than low-poverty regions of the country.

Life expectancy shows striking disparities. Appalachian residents died 0.6 years earlier than people outside the region in the interval 1990-1992. By 2009-2013, the gap had increased to 2.6 years. The starkest gap in life expectancy — 13 years — was seen between African-American males in high-poverty areas of Appalachia compared with white females in low-poverty regions in the rest of the nation.

Click here to read more about the state of health in Appalachia.