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Health: US disparity

A man living in Washington DC, the capital of the richest country in the world, has a life expectancy of only 62 years, barely higher than if he lived in many Third World countries. But a man living less than 20 miles away, in Virginia's prosperous Fairfax County, can expect to live more than 15 years longer.

This is one of the preliminary findings of a study being conducted jointly by the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. It notes that the disparity between the best and worst life expectancy has been growing, with the lowest 2 per cent registering no increase since 1980. The income gap has also widened over the same period.