Found in the LA Times: Women are living shorter lives than they used to, according to Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, which conducted the research. The grim trend is fueled largely by smoking, high blood pressure and obesity, according to Murray and other population health experts. The number of Americans who are classified as obese hit 34% in 2010, more than double the rate in 1980. The widening gulf between the healthiest and least healthy populations is partly due to wealth. This fact is evident on the map:
In 737 U.S. counties out of more than 3,000, life expectancies for women declined between 1997 and 2007. For life expectancy to decline in a developed nation is rare. Setbacks on this scale have not been seen in the U.S. since the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918, according to demographers.
I like one of the comments in a Mother Jones article: Here’s the money quote from the research, “Equally concerning is that between 2000 and 2007, more than 85% of American counties have fallen further behind the international life expectancy frontier, of which 55% were statistically significant at the 90% confidence level. While the US and most of its communities fell further behind, the U.S. maintained its position as the country that spent the most per capita on health care throughout this period.”
Unfriggin’ believable. The only good news is that our schools are failing in a similar way, so soon we’ll be too stupid to know we’re such a mess.
Another good comment: I note the geographical distribution here tends strongly to the Red states where the safety net was never tightly woven during better times and has gotten worse over the past decade. America, this may be the Third-World future you think will “solve” our too-generous safety net.