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While the gap between life expectancy rates for African Americans and Whites still exists, it has narrowed over the last two decades, according to “Health, United States, 2011,”a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report released on Wednesday.

Between 2000 and 2009, life expectancy at birth increased more for African Americans than for Whites, narrowing the life expectancy gap between these two racial groups, the report shows. In 2000, life expectancy at birth for Whites was 5.5 years longer than for the Blacks. By 2009, though, the difference narrowed to 4.3 years.

Hispanics still have higher life expectancies than both ethnic groups.

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