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Life Expectancy Gap Persists as Blacks Die Before Whites

Higher death rates among blacks in the U.S. due to heart disease, cancer, homicide, diabetes and childbirth conditions drive a persistent gap in life expectancy for the group compared with whites, a government study found.

While Americans overall are living longer than in the 1970s, the five conditions accounted for a 3.8 year difference in life expectancy in 2010 between blacks and whites, according to a report today by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Whites born in 2010 are expected to live to 78.9 years, while blacks will make it to 75.1 years, the study found.