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A GPB Production

Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?

Unnatural Causes is a four-hour series that explores the glaring socio-economic and racial inequities in health and searches for their causes.

The U.S. spends more on health care than any other industrialized nation. Yet our life expectancy ranks 30th in the world. Infant mortality? We’re tied with Hungary, Poland and Slovakia for next to last among industrialized nations. Illnesses cost American business more than a trillion dollars a year in lost productivity.

Research has revealed many insights into America's health crisis. One key finding is the strong correlation between socio-economic status and health and life expectancy. On average, poor Americans die eight years before rich Americans, while middle-class Americans die almost three years sooner than rich Americans.

Unnatural Causes looks at what’s making us sick and investigates startling new findings that suggest there is much more to poor health than bad habits, inadequate health care or unlucky genes. The series focuses on a key idea: that social circumstances -- where we are born, live and work -- can affect our risk for disease.

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