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‘Dying Before Their Time:’ Why Detroit’s Seniors Are Dying Sooner

The Detroit skyline is seen from Grand River Avenue.
The Detroit skyline is seen from Grand River Avenue.

Metropolitan areas in the U.S. face unprecedented challenges in the age of COVID-19, but Detroit is the site of a particularly unique issue. Older adults are dyingsooner than their peers in other parts of Michigan.  

To find out why, the Detroit Area Agency on Aging commissioned a study that spanned some 19 years. The newest addition to the study was released this week. A clear pattern has emerged: a lack of access to healthcare, chronic health conditions and systematic racism. 

And now, the coronavirus pandemic is throwing fuel onto the existing fire, given that the virus is exacerbated by all three issues.

What do these trends in Detroit tell us about the country as a whole? 

Copyright 2020 WAMU 88.5

Kaity Kline
Kaity Kline is an Assistant Producer at Morning Edition and Up First. She started at NPR in 2019 as a Here & Now intern and has worked at nearly every NPR news magazine show since.