A new study published Wednesday in the scientific journal PLOS One shows that while states with more liberal policies are associated with lower mortality rates, Americans die younger in states with more conservative policies.
The study notes that, in recent decades, the rise in working-age mortality rates in the United States largely reflects stalled declines in cardiovascular disease mortality alongside rising mortality from suicide, alcohol-induced causes, and drug poisoning, stressing that it has been especially severe in some US states.
Analyzing mortality rates among adults aged 25 to 64f or all causes of death in all 50 US states from 1999 to 2019, researchers compared that to state data on policy measures such as gun safety, labor, marijuana policy, economic taxes, and tobacco taxes.
Per the new study, mortality rates provide another sobering picture of the early deaths among so many individuals in the United States.
According to the results of their simulation, 171,030 lives would have been saved in 2019 if all states had switched to fully liberal policies, and if all states had switched to fully conservative policies, the cost would have been an additional 217,635 lives.
The authors of the study noted that the striking data stems from the fact that American society is becoming hyperpolarized and involves growing policy divergence across states, and these tectonic political and policy shifts may have had profound impacts on the health and well-being of Americans.
While 12 states are divided between legislative and executive control, Democrats control 29 percent of states in the US while Republicans currently control 46 percent of the states.
Compared to other developed countries, the US already rates among the highest mortality rates with an average life expectancy of roughly 78 years. Statistics show that Americans die more than two years younger than British people and more than five years younger than Japanese people.
Based on rates from 2019, the new study projects that for every 100 babies born in the US, two will not survive to their 30th birthday, six will not reach age 50, and 16 will die before the age of 65.