Cancer mortality rates vary widely based on location of residence.
Cancer mortality is widely variable depending on where you live in the United States, according to a study examining 35 years of data for 29 types of cancer. The research turned up differences ranging from notable to dramatic, with some counties experiencing death rates 20 times higher than average.
The study analyzed data beginning in 1980 through 2014. During that period, cancer killed roughly 19.5 million Americans. While the overall cancer mortality rate declined by 20%, 160 counties throughout the country showed increases in all cancer death rates.
A few examples:
Counties in southern states (and the northernmost state) had the highest rates of lung cancer mortality: Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alaska. The likely link here is with higher rates of smoking in those counties compared to the national average, which continues to decline (Kentucky leads the pack with the highest lung cancer mortality in four counties, and has the highest smoking rate according to the CDC). Three counties in Colorado had the fewest lung cancer deaths.
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