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Analyzing a vast amount of data about health and deaths among Americans, Case and Deaton showed declining life expectancy and health for middle-aged white Americans, especially those with a high school education or less.France, for example, spends less than 12 percent of its GDP on medical care, compared to 17 percent in the U.S. Yet Americans can expect to live three full years less than the French.For years, many Americans explained away this gap. The U.S. is a more heterogeneous society, they argued, and the gap supposedly reflected the huge difference in average life expectancy between African Americans and white Americans.According to a study published in 2014, life expectancy for African Americans is some four years lower for women and more than five years lower for men, relative to whites.White Americans, too, are dying earlier as their incomes decline.These new data on white Americans' declining health status confirms this conclusion.
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