Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Heart Disease Health Center

Font Size

U.S. Blacks Still Lag Whites in Life Expectancy

Heart disease, cancer and murder main contributors to four-year disparity, experts say


However, another expert said that efforts to reduce the risk factors for heart disease and cancer among blacks would help narrow the gap.

"This report confirms two things we know. One, that black life expectancy lags behind white life expectancy by a considerable margin. Two, that the main reasons for the gap are preventable," said Sam Harper, from the department of epidemiology, biostatistics & occupational health at McGill University in Hamilton, Canada.

"We need to focus our efforts at reducing the major risk factors for heart disease that disproportionately affect black Americans, and making certain that blacks are benefiting from improvements in medical treatments for cancer and heart disease," Harper said. "Redoubling our efforts on these two diseases would go a long way towards reducing the black-white life expectancy gap."

Other highlights of the report include:

  • Life expectancy for black men was 4.7 years less than for white men.
  • Life expectancy for black women was 3.3 years less than white women.
  • Life expectancy for whites went from 71.7 years old in 1970 to 78.9 years old in 2010, while the life expectancy for blacks went from 64.1 years old to 75.1 years old during that same period.

Dr. Robert Graham, an internist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, noted that "this disparity is related to access to care for these diseases that disproportionally affect the black community. We have to change the way we provide care to our communities."

In addition, ways need to be found to curb the violence that "is needlessly killing young African Americans," Graham said.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

x-ray of human heart
A visual guide.
atrial fibrillation
Symptoms and causes.
heart rate graph
10 things to never do.
heart rate
Get the facts.
empty football helmet
red wine
eating blueberries
Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
Inside A Heart Attack
Omega 3 Sources
Salt Shockers
lowering blood pressure