Lifespan Development in the News Assignment

Lifespan development is the topic of numerous scientific works based on society’s interest to live longer and more fulfilling lives. The data and research results are often shared in news magazines to acknowledge new receipts for expanding their lifetime. However, the data from scientific entries might be misdescribed, or key points might mislead a reader. This essay aims at comparing Time Magazine’s article with its research reference to discuss how the news interprets the scientific data and its conclusions.

Time Magazine’s article “Life Expectancy Can Vary by 20 Years Based on Where in the U.S. You Live” reveals that citizens’ longevity expectations are different. It shares the research data that defines geographical factors as crucial to people’s lifespan expectations combined with the mortality statistics divided by counties. The authors also include infographics showing that the average life of an American keeps expanding and increases by 5.3 years (Kluger & Wilson, 2017). They conclude that the most extended lifespan and the most optimistic expectations are identified in the wealthiest areas. Based on the research data, the article shares that income, race, ethnicity, behavioral variables, dietary statistics, and health care affordability among citizens are responsible for the geographical lifespan differences (Kluger & Wilson, 2017). It ends by reminding a reader that a person can manage many of these factors.

The research that became the basis for Time Magazine’s article is “Inequalities in Life Expectancy Among US Counties, 1980 to 2014,” published by The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). It examined life expectancy among the counties to track geographic differences in longevity and determine crucial factors that influenced the inequalities. The data is combined into maps with separate counties, tables with variables’ statistics, models reflecting the lifespan expectations inequality, and life expectancy at birth figures divided by age groups. The research used socioeconomic and cultural data about the counties to determine the factors that severely affect longevity. Dwyer-Lindgren et al. (2017) state that “the magnitude of disparities demands action, all the more urgently because inequalities will only increase further if recent trends are allowed to continue uncontested” (p. 1008). In its discussion part, the article concludes that it is important to pay attention to factors like income, behavioral and metabolic risks, and healthcare development.

The research is designed using small area estimation methods and combining the data into variable-based groups for analysis. Its methodology also includes analysis of county-level variation in life expectancy, which was then collected into regression models. In the research, Dwyer-Lindgren et al. (2017) question if “inequalities in life expectancy among counties in the United States growing or diminishing, and what factors can explain differences in life expectancy among counties?” (p. 1005). In the study, age groups, set period, and counties were used as independent variables, while socioeconomic, ethical, healthcare data was dependent. The research’s validity can be determined by the numerous peer-reviewed data cited, statistics brought from reliable sources like the National Center for Health Statistics, and the approved methodology the scientists utilized.

The key points of the research and Time Magazine’s entry are similar. The scientific article highlights that the population-based analysis shows the increasing difference between counties based on their life expectancy, and determines factors like economics, race, and healthcare as its causes (Dwyer-Lindgren et al., 2017). The news article emphasizes that the average longevity among US citizens increases, and mentions the socioeconomic and cultural problems that severely affect life expectancy in different regions (Kluger & Wilson, 2017). Scientific entry is a basis for further researches, while the news was published to influence society.

The news and research data are written in different styles due to their audiences’ demands and the articles’ purposes. JAMA’s scientific article is constructed by following strict requirements for the data-based study and includes an introduction, methodology description, results, and discussion. In contrast, Time Magazine’s entry is not divided into many sections and provides the numbers and conclusions without explaining how the data was gained. Moreover, the scientific piece includes many medical terms and references, while the news is more understandable. The articles’ infographics are also contrasting: the original research’s data consists of complex coefficients, while the news only includes the average age and its changes.

Both articles aim at pointing attention to the longevity and factors that must be considered to help US citizens expand their lives. However, JAMA’s researchers were determined to influence the government to consider the findings in the policy-making process, not society (Dwyer-Lindgren et al., 2017). Time Magazine’s article interprets its research reference correctly and encourages people to do what is possible to develop their lifespan.


Dwyer-Lindgren, L., Bertozzi-Villa, A., Stubbs, R. W., Morozoff, C., Mackenbach, J. P., van Lenthe, F. J., & Murray, C. J. (2017). Inequalities in life expectancy among US counties, 1980 to 2014: temporal trends and key drivers. JAMA Internal Medicine, 177(7), 1003-1011. Web.

Kluger, J., & Wilson, C. (2017). Life expectancy can vary by 20 years based on where in the U.S. you live. Time Magazine. Web.