The SOA Research Institute’s Mortality and Longevity Strategic Research Program is pleased to make available a research report that quantifies differences in mortality and disease prevalence by health status. Additionally, period life tables by health status, sex, and age are available in Appendix D.
Natalia S. Gavrilova, Ph.D. Leonid A. Gavrilov, Ph.D.
Question How many excess deaths and years of potential life lost for the Black population, compared with the White population, occurred in the United States from 1999 through 2020?
Findings Based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, excess deaths and years of potential life lost persisted throughout the period, with initial progress followed by stagnation of improvement and substantial worsening in 2020. The Black population had 1.63 million excess deaths, representing more than 80 million years of potential life lost over the study period.
Meaning After initial progress, excess mortality and years of potential life lost among the US Black population stagnated and then worsened, indicating a need for new approaches.
Author(s): César Caraballo, MD1,2; Daisy S. Massey, BA3; Chima D. Ndumele, PhD4; et al
Although the regional hospital in the city of Orangeburg delivers babies, the birth outcomes in the county are awful by any standard. In 2021, nearly 3% of all Black infants in Orangeburg County died before their 1st birthday.
Nationally, the average is about 1% for Black infants and less than 0.5% for white infants.
Meanwhile, Orangeburg County’s infant mortality rate for babies of all races is the highest in South Carolina, according to the latest data published by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
By 2030, the federal government wants infant mortality to fall to 5 or fewer deaths per 1,000 live births. According to annual data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 16 states have already met or surpassed that goal, including Nevada, New York, and California. But none of those states are in the South, where infant mortality is by far the highest in the country, with Mississippi’s rate of 8.12 deaths per 1,000 live births ranking worst.
Even in those few Southern states where infant mortality rates are inching closer to the national average, the gap between death rates of Black and white babies is vast. In Florida and North Carolina, for example, the Black infant mortality rate is more than twice as high as it is for white babies. A new study published in JAMA found that over two decades Black people in the U.S. experienced more than 1.6 million excess deaths and 80 million years of life lost because of increased mortality risk relative to white Americans. The study also found that infants and older Black Americans bear the brunt of excess deaths and years lost.
The state Department of Health and Human Services — which administers Medicaid, the health coverage program for low-income residents, and pays for more than half of all births in South Carolina — claims accidental deaths were the No. 1 reason babies covered by Medicaid died from 2016 to 2020, according to Medicaid spokesperson Jeff Leieritz.
But the state health department, where all infant death data is housed, reported birth defects as the top cause for the past several years. Accidental deaths ranked fifth among all causes in 2021, according to the 2021 health department report. All but one of those accidental infant deaths were attributed to suffocation or strangulation in bed.
The five biggest auto insurers in Illinois have raised automobile insurance rates a whopping $527 million since January, an analysis by two consumer groups shows.
That follows about $1.1 billion in rate increases last year by the top 10 Illinois car insurers.
The analysis by the nonprofit Illinois Public Interest Research Group and Consumer Federation of America looked at auto insurance rate increases by the five largest companies in Illinois: State Farm, Allstate, Progressive, Geico and Country Financial, which together make up 62% of the Illinois market.
Now, state Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, has introduced legislation to address those issues and crack down on insurers. Guzzardi’s bill would:
Require automobile insurers to get prior state approval for rate hikes.
Ban “excessive” insurance increases.
Prohibit using gender, marital status, age, occupation, schooling, home ownership, wealth, credit scores or a customer’s past insurance company relationships in setting car insurance rates.
It’s already illegal to use race, ethnicity and religion in setting rates. That would continue under Guzzardi’s proposal.
Author(s): Stephanie Zimmermann | Chicago Sun-Times
This paper is an introduction to AI technology designed for actuaries to understand how the technology works, the potential risks it could introduce, and how to mitigate risks. The author focuses on data bias as it is one of the main concerns of facial recognition technology. This research project was jointly sponsored by the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Research and the Actuarial Innovation and Technology Strategic Research Programs
The city has only ever recorded this large loss of human life twice in its history, matching the record of 500 deaths during the crack cocaine epidemic in 1990.
Since Tuesday, the total has risen to 502, a 7% reduction from 2021, per the city’s dashboard .
The total in 2022 only pales slightly in comparison to last year’s record-breaking total. In 2021, Philadelphia recorded 562 homicides, with 501 of the deaths due to gun violence alone, per Axios.
Homicide victims in Philadelphia for 2022 spanned across all ages, from as young as 9 to as old as 78. The 500th homicide was a man, 35, shot in the city’s Ogontz section on Sunday afternoon, and he died hours later from his injuries, police confirmed to multiple outlets.
The demographics surrounding the homicides reflect the extent to which gun violence plagues the city. Of the 500 homicides, 30 victims were juveniles, with seven being 14 years old or younger. According to police, 84% of people killed or injured in shootings this year were black.
One point per person in the US for the 2010 and 2020 censuses, fully zoomable and interactive using WebGL and [Deepscatter](https://github.com/CreatingData/deepscatter). Since this uses WebGL individual point rendering and quadtiled data, it can be far more responsive than raster-based maps you may have seen in 2010. Plus, if you zoom all the way in in some views it has little person glyphs!
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has created the public concern about black maternal mortality. In February, the CDC released data showing that the maternal mortality rate for black women is 2.9 times higher than the rate for white women. It’s a worrisome statistic, yet the CDC’s own data, as well as a study from the CDC Foundation, provide crucial (and generally unreported) context.
To be clear, even a single death of a pregnant woman is one too many. But the overwhelming majority of women survive motherhood: in 2020, according to the CDC, 861 women in the United States died related to pregnancy, out of a total of about 3.6 million births—a rate of 0.02 percent. Just over 350 were white, while just under 300 were black. Scientifically speaking, it’s hard to draw society-wide conclusions from such a small sample. It’s even harder when you recognize that the CDC statistics include deaths that occurred up to a year after delivery, as well as those caused by underlying and preexisting medical conditions that pregnancy may have aggravated. And the CDC admits that the systems for identifying mortality rates are prone to error.
The panel found that less than about a third of the preventable deaths, across all races, were attributable to individual providers. It did not cite racial bias as the reason. Yet the academic and media narrative leads to the assumption that black mothers are dying because doctors and nurses are racist. This leads to a corresponding claim that black mothers would die less often if they saw black doctors, which some call “racial concordance.” These are strange assertions, since Hispanic maternal mortality is lower than the rate for whites, which wouldn’t be true if medical professionals were racist. Yet these claims are still being used to justify discriminatory and dangerous policies across health care.
COVID-19 had a huge mortality impact in the US in 2020 and accounted for most of the overall reduction in 2020 life expectancy at birth. There were also extensive racial/ethnic disparities in the mortality impact of COVID-19 in 2020, with the Black and Latino populations experiencing reductions in life expectancy at birth over twice as large as that of the White population. Despite continued vulnerability of these populations, the hope was that widespread distribution of effective vaccines would mitigate the overall mortality impact and reduce racial/ethnic disparities in 2021. In this study, we quantify the mortality impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on 2021 US period life expectancy by race and ethnicity and compare these impacts to those estimated for 2020. Our estimates indicate that racial/ethnic disparities have persisted, and that the US population experienced a decline in life expectancy at birth in 2021 of 2.2 years from 2019, 0.6 years more than estimated for 2020. The corresponding reductions estimated for the Black and Latino populations are slightly below twice that for Whites, suggesting smaller disparities than those in 2020. However, all groups experienced additional reductions in life expectancy at birth relative to 2020, and this apparent narrowing of disparities is primarily the result of Whites experiencing proportionately greater increases in mortality in 2021 compared with the corresponding increases in mortality for the Black and Latino populations in 2021. Estimated declines in life expectancy at age 65 increased slightly for Whites between 2020 and 2021 but decreased for both the Black and Latino populations, resulting in the same overall reduction (0.8 years) estimated for 2020 and 2021.
Author(s): Theresa Andrasfay, Noreen Goldman
Publication Date: 31 Aug 2022
Publication Site: PLOS ONE
Citation: Andrasfay T, Goldman N. Reductions in US life expectancy during the COVID-19 pandemic by race and ethnicity: Is 2021 a repetition of 2020? PLoS One. 2022 Aug 31;17(8):e0272973. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0272973. PMID: 36044413; PMCID: PMC9432732.
This paper uses a recent first name list to improve on a previous Bayesian classifier, the Bayesian Improved Surname Geocoding (BISG) method, which combines surname and geography information to impute missing race and ethnicity. The proposed approach is validated using a large mortgage lending dataset for whom race and ethnicity are reported. The new approach results in improvements in accuracy and in coverage over BISG for all major ethno-racial categories. The largest improvements occur for non-Hispanic Blacks, a group for which the BISG performance is weakest. Additionally, when estimating disparities in mortgage pricing and underwriting among ethno-racial groups with regression models, the disparity estimates based on either BIFSG or BISG proxies are remarkably close to those based on actual race and ethnicity. Following evaluation, I demonstrate the application of BIFSG to the imputation of missing race and ethnicity in the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data, and in the process, offer novel evidence that race and ethnicity are somewhat correlated with the incidence of missing race/ethnicity information.
Ioan Voicu Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)
The Society of Actuaries (SOA) leadership and staff work closely with the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (DEIC) to support the journey to increase diversity in membership and in the actuarial profession, as part of the SOA’s Long-Term Growth Strategy.
We strive for transparency and accountability in our DEI efforts and are committed to sharing our demographic data and long-term goals to support our pledge and responsibility. We have collected member voluntary demographic data since 2015. With this data, we present an infographic for the pathway from aspiring actuaries to members with ASA or FSA designations.
Narrow or prejudiced thinking is simple to write down and easy to copy and paste over and over. Descriptions such as “difficult” and “disruptive” can become hard to escape. Once so labeled, patients can experience “downstream effects,” said Dr. Hardeep Singh, an expert in misdiagnosis who works at the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston. He estimates misdiagnosis affects 12 million patients a year.
Conveying bias can be as simple as a pair of quotation marks. One team of researchers found that Black patients, in particular, were quoted in their records more frequently than other patients when physicians were characterizing their symptoms or health issues. The quotation mark patterns detected by researchers could be a sign of disrespect, used to communicate irony or sarcasm to future clinical readers. Among the types of phrases the researchers spotlighted were colloquial language or statements made in Black or ethnic slang.
“Black patients may be subject to systematic bias in physicians’ perceptions of their credibility,” the authors of the paper wrote.
That’s just one study in an incoming tide focused on the variations in the language that clinicians use to describe patients of different races and genders. In many ways, the research is just catching up to what patients and doctors knew already, that discrimination can be conveyed and furthered by partial accounts.