Life Expectancy Gap Found Between US Political Parties 

June 15, 2022 by Alexa Hornbeck
Life Expectancy Gap Found Between US Political Parties 
Washington politics as depicted at the Capitol Lounge. (Photo by Dan McCue)

study published on June 7 from researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital shows that there is a growing life expectancy gap between Democratic and Republican counties. 

The findings, published in the British Medical Journal, found a “mortality gap,” meaning there is a widening difference between age-adjusted death rates in counties that had voted for a Democrat or a Republican in previous presidential and gubernatorial elections. 

In Democratic counties the team found that mortality rates decreased by 22%, but only 11% in Republican counties. 


To conduct the study, lead author Haider Warraich, from the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Brigham, and colleagues used data from the Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research database, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Election Data and Science Laboratory. 


The team then classified counties as Democratic or Republican based on how the county voted in the previous presidential election, and adjusted for age when calculating mortality rates. 


The mortality gap rose across top disease areas, including heart disease and cancer, and the mortality gap between White residents in Democratic versus Republican counties increased nearly fourfold during the study period. 

Alexa can be reached at [email protected]

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