Across the contiguous 48 states, populations in states with more activist civic cultures have lower mortality than states that do not follow this model. Several different factors can be pointed to as causes for this discrepancy - net income, class inequality, and the history of settlement in each of the different states and regions. These observations are true of Non-Hispanic Whites and African Americans but not of American Indians, and Hispanics, neither of which is fully integrated into the state political culture and economy in which it resides. In Regional Cultures and Mortality in America, the struggles these various populations face in regard to their health are explored in terms of where they reside.
Stephen J. Kunitz is Professor Emeritus at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. Much of his past research has been focused on the Navajos in the American Southwest. He is the author of Disease Change and the Role of Medicine: The Navajo Experience (1983); as well as co-author, with J. E. Levy, of Indian Drinking: Navajo Practices and Anglo-American Theories (1974); Navajo Aging: The Transition from Family to Institutional Support (1991); Drinking Careers: A Twenty-Five Year Follow-Up of Three Navajo Populations (1994); and Drinking, Conduct Disorder, and Social Change: Navajo Experiences (2000). He is also the author of Disease and Social Diversity (1994) and The Health of Populations (2007). He held a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Investigator Award in 2002-6 and is the recipient of two Fulbright awards.
Part I. The National Perspective: 1. Institutions, income, and mortality in the United States; 2. Institutions and the mortality of African Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians; 3. Regional patterns of urban African American mortality; Part II. Local Studies: 4. Extremes of mortality in the poorest states; 5. Regional differences in American Indian mortality; 6. Hispanic mortality in New Mexico; 7. Conclusion.