Sub-County Life Expectancy: A Tool to Improve Community Health and Advance Health Equity
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Sub-County Life Expectancy: A Tool to Improve Community Health and Advance Health Equity

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  • Alternative Title:
    Prev Chronic Dis
  • Description:
    Compared with people in other developed countries, Americans live shorter lives, have more disease and disability, and lag on most population health measures. Recent research suggests that this poor comparative performance is primarily driven by profound local place-based disparities. Several initiatives successfully used sub-county life expectancy estimates to identify geographic disparities, generate widespread interest, and catalyze multisector actions. To explore the feasibility of scaling these efforts, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists initiated a multiphase project - the Sub-County Assessment of Life Expectancy. Phase I participants reviewed the literature, assessed and identified appropriate tools, calculated locally relevant estimates, and developed methodological guidance. Phase I results suggest that most state and local health departments will be able to calculate actionable sub-county life expectancy estimates despite varying resources, expertise, and population sizes, densities, and geographies. To accelerate widespread scaling, we describe several successful case examples, identify user-friendly validated tools, and provide practical tips that resulted from lessons learned.
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