This study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)…
Trends and Patterns of Disparities in Cancer Mortality Among US Counties, 1980-2014, JAMA, 24 January 2017
… links to this great interactive map. Below is just a snapshot I took (of all-cause mortality, not just cancer, although you can select “neoplasms” for that). Clicking the map will take you to the interactive map, where you can chose life expectancy or mortality rates, death by cause, by county, by sex, for the years 1980 to 2014. Mucho info.
You can home in on your county and see how it compares to the rest of the country.
The study itself found that cancer rates overall declined in the last 20 years, but reporting that overall number does a disservice to the places where cancer rates increased (the deep South was a cancer hotbed) and the particular cancers that took off. (Liver cancer and mesothelioma increased in nearly all counties. Liver cancer increased by almost 88% across the country!)
Here’s what the lead author, Ali Mokdad said:
“At the county level, you see huge disparities,” Mokdad said. “Many counties are falling behind while the rest of the country benefits.”
“It makes you wonder: How could this happen in a country like ours, when we spend more money on health than any other country in the world?“
Over 19 million people died of cancer in that 24-year period. That is a lot of cancer.
Here’s what they said about diet:
Diet is another risk factor for cancer mortality. Dietary intake in the United States has not improved much since the 1980s. Moreover, fast food quality is not improving, with the exception of french fries. Although recent dietary intake studies in the United States show a sign of improvement and a decline in consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, US residents are not doing enough to improve their diets. Unfortunately, there are no adequate data on dietary consumption at the local level. The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System included few questions on fruit and vegetable consumption, which did not allow a proper dietary analysis. Improving and monitoring dietary intake in the United States should be a priority for local, state, and federal agencies.
Please tell me that the new administration recognizes that last sentence and plans to act on it. I’m losing faith.