Unlike the map linked in the article this obesity heatmap is also by county so it makes for an excellent comparison.
The separation of powers from any reservation to the Federal Trust is completely arbitrary and is only active when it is convenient. Congress can do anything it wants to a reservation and faces zero consequences. Host States can and actually do almost anything to reservations and face zero consequences.
and that can extend to building up and improving conditions closer to a base line. even when recognizing that each reservation is entirely different, despite some common outcomes.
The IHS itself is the culprit. It's hard to improve life expectancy when your only access to medical care is through a system that's not only overcrowded and underfunded, but which has truly zero incentive to provide quality medical care to its patients (and a long, documented history of corruption and outright exploitation of its patients).
It absolutely, 100% does matter, because Native American reservations receive their healthcare exclusively through the IHS. The IHS is a completely separate system that is exclusively used by Native Americans, and it has massive documented logistical and ethical problems going back all the way to its founding.
It's downright deceptive not to mention that the data is so heavily shaped by this structural problem, because it completely changes the message people take away from it.
 including Oglala Lakota County
Healthcare has the largest influence on life expectancy from infant mortality, but the 0.5% increase only changes life expectancy by ~6 months.
That is simply not true for the IHS. The IHS is way, way worse than anything you can imagine in the rest of the US. It has literally committed genocide (intentionally) under the ruse of medical care, and genocide has a funny way of decreasing life expectancy.
However, other factors are still important. EX: "At 43%, adult obesity rates in Oglala Lakota County were 17 percentage points higher than rates of adult obesity nationally and 13 points higher than statewide rates."
Further, you can find several other counties with rather similar life expectancy results that don't have IHS. So, simply pointing at IHS is not the complete story.
I think a more interesting map would be life expectancy of those over 70.
None of the top 5 has any real correlation to a geographic area per se.
Thus "Depending on Where You Live" isn't really a great title.
Because by not breaking out the single largest compounding factor, it's masking the real problem underlying this issue: there's a massive disparity in outcomes for people of different races.
In Washington state, the counties with the worst mortality are 95% white, with 5% native (Grays Harbor and Okanagan)
(poverty, education, race are of course very correlated)
And it's not just because minority populations have worse access to healthcare. There are in fact genetic components that predispose different races to different diseases.
Japanese people, Glaucoma.
AA, heart disease.
White people, Celiac.
Basically there's multiple components: Race, Healthcare access, Poverty, Education, Local Cultural proclivities for: diet, exercise, etc.
You're asking if I have evidence that the IHS is an absolute disaster, which impacts mortality rates and life expectancy?
Yes, that's a problem that's been very well-documented for the past seventy years.
There is certainly a strong correlation.
If you look at European countries, a much coarser level of measurement the gap is 83-71, 12 years.
All men are created equal here. It's counter to our national narrative to think of communities and areas where your life is fucked just because you're born in the wrong spot.
(That said, I would be interested in an analysis of whether or not your life expectancy varies with where you live, or where you are born. I.e. if I am from Boston but move to Mobile, do I end up with a Bostonian's life expectancy or a Mobilian's? How long does it take for the shorter life expectancy of someone from Mobile to override the longer life expectancy of someone from Boston? Or does it never do that? All would be interesting questions for research.)
If you want to compare European life expectancies you might be able to do it by Eurostat statistical region but none will have populations in the single digit thousands.
Native Americans typically receive their healthcare from the IHS, which is known for being an absolute disaster. It's not surprising (or news) that life expectancy is much lower for a population which receives its healthcare exclusively through a system which has a track record of neglecting its patients or using them as test subjects without their consent.
Indian reservations have issues with poverty, unemployment, alcoholism, substandard housing, violence, and suicide.
Let's see the worst life expectancy areas of Russia for example. You're nearly dipping into the 50s for life expectancy in that case, and you're going to see a 30+ year gap from top to bottom across peak Europe vs the lowest areas. This has recently come to the fore with the Russian Government's move to push the retirement age so low that it nearly clips the average man off of it.
"A stroll around the Zapadnoye Cemetery reveals how few Novgorod men actually make it to old age. It’s easy to find graves of young men who died in accidents, wars or gangster feuds—many with epitaphs such as “came to a tragic end.” For the rest, the typical age of death is around 62. Graves of men who lived beyond 70, however, are pretty hard to find."
Still interesting to me how bad people in Alaska have it.