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Montez Cited in Washington Post Article on the Impact of States’ Policies on Life Expectancy

October 17, 2023

The Washington Post

Jennifer Karas Montez

Jennifer Karas Montez

Americans are more likely to die before age 65 than residents of similar nations, despite living in a country that spends substantially more per person on health care than its peers.

Many of those early deaths can be traced to decisions made years ago by local and state lawmakers over whether to implement cigarette taxes, invest in public health or tighten seat-belt regulations, among other policies, according to an examination by The Washington Post.

The differences in state policies directly correlate to those years lost, says University Professor Jennifer Karas Montez, director of the Center for Aging and Policy Studies and author of several papers that describe the connection between politics and life expectancy.

Ohio sticks out—for all the wrong reasons. Roughly 1 in 5 Ohioans will die before they turn 65, according to Montez’s analysis using the state’s 2019 death rates. 

Read more in The Washington Post article, "How Red-State Politics Are Shaving Years Off American Lives."

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