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Tue Mar 5, 2013, 12:59 PM

Female Life Span Going Down In Some Parts Of The U.S.

Source: Medical News Today

Life expectancy among some women in the U.S. is steadily declining, according to the latest research published in the journal Health Affairs.

The study indicates that in almost half of the country's counties, women under the age of 75 are dying at rates higher than before.

This is the first study of its kind to identify the trend, which is particularly evident among low-income white women.

Experts believe that the reason women are dying younger in certain parts of the country is due to increased smoking rates, and obesity. Although many are still uncertain as to what the true causes really are.

<snip>

Life expectancy appears to be increasing among educated and affluent women, while declining among those who haven't completed high school.

<snip>

Read more: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/257187.php

36 replies, 4206 views

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Arrow 36 replies Author Time Post
Reply Female Life Span Going Down In Some Parts Of The U.S. (Original post)
bananas Mar 2013 OP
bananas Mar 2013 #1
onehandle Mar 2013 #2
bananas Mar 2013 #3
enlightenment Mar 2013 #6
antigone382 Mar 2013 #33
enlightenment Mar 2013 #34
antigone382 Mar 2013 #35
bananas Mar 2013 #4
Duer 157099 Mar 2013 #5
Igel Mar 2013 #10
Puzzledtraveller Mar 2013 #28
daleo Mar 2013 #18
tarheelsunc Mar 2013 #7
RebelOne Mar 2013 #8
oldandhappy Mar 2013 #12
Exultant Democracy Mar 2013 #9
oldandhappy Mar 2013 #11
Nay Mar 2013 #26
oldandhappy Mar 2013 #36
arikara Mar 2013 #13
magic59 Mar 2013 #14
mainer Mar 2013 #15
shcrane71 Mar 2013 #16
bitchkitty Mar 2013 #27
Selatius Mar 2013 #17
Lydia Leftcoast Mar 2013 #19
bemildred Mar 2013 #25
Skittles Mar 2013 #21
grilled onions Mar 2013 #20
Skittles Mar 2013 #22
darkangel218 Mar 2013 #23
In_The_Wind Mar 2013 #30
bemildred Mar 2013 #24
Politicub Mar 2013 #29
BuelahWitch Mar 2013 #31
jsr Mar 2013 #32

Response to bananas (Original post)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 01:04 PM

1. More info

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/03/05/study-shows-declining-life-span-for-some-us-women/

<snip>

The researchers, David Kindig and Erika Cheng of the University of Wisconsin, looked at federal death data and other information for nearly all 3,141 U.S. counties over 10 years. They calculated mortality rates for women age 75 and younger, sometimes called "premature death rates," because many of those deaths are considered preventable.

Many counties have such small populations that even slight changes in the number of deaths produce dramatic swings in the death rate from year to year. To try to stabilize the numbers, the researchers computed some five-year averages. They also used statistical tricks to account for factors like income and education.

They found that nationwide, the rate of women dying younger than would be expected fell from 324 to 318 per 100,000. But in 1,344 counties, the average premature death rate rose, from 317 to about 333 per 100,000. Deaths rates rose for men in only about 100 counties.

<snip>

The study wasn't the first to reach those conclusions. Two years ago, a study led by the University of Washington's Dr. Christopher Murray also looked at county-level death rates. It too found that women were dying sooner, especially in the South.

<snip>

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 01:17 PM

2. Vote in the mid-terms, ladies. As if your very lives counted on it.

Which they do.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 01:45 PM

3. Abstract

The paper is behind a paywall at http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/32/3/451.abstract?=right

Here's the abstract:

Even As Mortality Fell In Most US Counties, Female Mortality Nonetheless Rose In 42.8 Percent Of Counties From 1992 To 2006

David A. Kindig1,* and
Erika R. Cheng2

+ Author Affiliations

1 David A. Kindig (dakindig@wisc.edu) is a professor emeritus of population health sciences and founder of the Population Health Institute at the School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin–Madison.

2 Erika R. Cheng is a doctoral candidate and research assistant in the Department of Population Health Sciences, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin–Madison.

↵*Corresponding author

Abstract

Researchers increasingly track variations in health outcomes across counties in the United States, but current ranking methods do not reflect changes in health outcomes over time. We examined trends in male and female mortality rates from 1992–96 to 2002–06 in 3,140 US counties. We found that female mortality rates increased in 42.8 percent of counties, while male mortality rates increased in only 3.4 percent. Several factors, including higher education levels, not being in the South or West, and low smoking rates, were associated with lower mortality rates. Medical care variables, such as proportions of primary care providers, were not associated with lower rates. These findings suggest that improving health outcomes across the United States will require increased public and private investment in the social and environmental determinants of health—beyond an exclusive focus on access to care or individual health behavior.


doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2011.0892 Health Aff March 2013 vol. 32 no. 3 451-458


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Response to bananas (Reply #3)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 02:10 PM

6. Unable to tell much from the abstract, unfortunately.

The last sentence makes it sounds a little like they went into it with a bit of an agenda - but it's not possible to tell (and I'm not going to drop $13 to rent the article for 24 hours).


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Response to enlightenment (Reply #6)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 05:16 PM

33. It strikes me as a good and descriptive social science abstract.

Basically, their research was interesting in that they were looking at changes in life expectancy in various counties over time, rather than rankings that look at a single point in time. The advantage of this is that they can see trends, and one of the major trends they identified was a decreasing life expectancy among women in certain communities. The main features in counties where they saw this were low education levels, high smoking rates, and being located in the South or the West. The number of medical facilities in the county did not seem to have much of an effect on life expectancy.

Their conclusion comes right out of this research: in shaping policy that will improve health in the U.S., the study provides evidence that it isn't enough to provide health care facilities. Improving health involves social factors (like providing quality educational opportunities), and behavioral factors (like encouraging smoking cessation), and being aware of regional differences (noting that there are troubling trends in the South and West).

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Response to antigone382 (Reply #33)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 06:28 PM

34. I didn't suggest it was a bad abstract -

just not enough information for me - personally. I like seeing the data that people use to make their conclusions, not just the conclusions. It is an interesting sounding project, which is why I would like to see the study itself. Maybe I'll spring for the $12 rental fee.

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Response to enlightenment (Reply #34)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 06:32 PM

35. Yes, I hope that some day knowledge will genuinely be free.

There area few moves to head that way, but we haven't gone far enough yet.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 01:52 PM

4. University of Washington search site for specific county life expectancies

Looks like they have an interactive map set up:
http://www.healthmetricsandevaluation.org/tools/data-visualization/life-expectancy-county-and-sex-us-country-comparison-global-1989-1999-2009#/overview/explore

That link is from this AP article:
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_MED_WOMENS_DEATHS_COUNTIES?SITE=WIMIL&SECTION=HEALTH&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

More evidence of falling life expectancy for women in many rural counties in South, West

By MIKE STOBBE
AP Medical Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- A new study offers more compelling evidence that life expectancy for some U.S. women is actually falling, a disturbing trend that experts can't explain.

<snip>

Online:

University of Wisconsin study, http://content.healthaffairs.org

University of Washington search site for specific county life expectancies, http://bit.ly/13CgCla

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 01:59 PM

5. Stress

Low income = stress = decreased immunity, increased illness.

Duh.

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Response to Duer 157099 (Reply #5)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 03:04 PM

10. Stress, but not just from low income.

Single women and mothers who spent most of their lives working and supporting their families also experience stress that's not from lack of nutrition or enhanced low-SES job security or even comparing themselves with others better off. (We used to call this last kind of stress "envy" or "jealousy" or even "keeping up with the Jones." When some kids in my classes do this, it's called "greed" and "consumerism." When others do it, it's "low-income stress".)

More decades of smoking than their predecessors. Higher levels of obesity. Less physical exertion. Poorer diet. More dedication to the miracle drug "acai" or relying on the wonders of echinacea or black cohosh or whatever Women's World Daily or whatever it's called spouts to goose sales this week among the illiterati.

They think that heating up pre-made lasagna is a home-cooked meal and, if they own a home, rely crucially on some day laborer to cut their grass, trim their shrubs, clean their carpets, unplug their drains. Eventually that'll include "change their light bulbs" and "brush their teeth" (which sounds really strange, given how inalienable possession works in English syntax).

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Response to Igel (Reply #10)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 10:29 AM

28. Something I noticed

In mentioning this I am admitting to having used match making services like Eharmony and Match. A common question on profiles is alcohol consumption. I myself drink maybe once a month. I'm male and turning 40 this month. My observation has been that there is an increasing amount of women who drink several times a week as evidenced by their profile entries. These appear to be professional and semi-professional women. Family, work, performance pressure and even peer pressure I think plays a part in this. I'm sure the long term impact is negative just like it is in males who consume alcohol regularly.

http://www.shape.com/blogs/shape-your-life/women-drinking-more-and-more-often-study-finds

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Response to Duer 157099 (Reply #5)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 12:00 AM

18. Societies with higher levels of inequality have lower lifespans

This is a widely acknowledged finding. Stress is one of the hypothesized reasons, though there others as well.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 02:11 PM

7. Will Rush blame feminism for this too? eom

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 02:15 PM

8. Here are the stats for Cherokee County, Georgia, where I live.

State: Georgia
County: Cherokee
Life Expectancy (years): 71.8
Behind top county (years): 9.8

I am 74. So does that mean that I have outlived the prediction by almost 4 years? And I am a smoker, but am not obese. I grew up in Miami, FL. I did not complete high school because I married at 16. But I clawed my way up in the business world and was a copy editor at a major publishing company by the time I retired.

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #8)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 04:00 PM

12. Good for you

And you had some encouragement along the way. We gotta do this for each other.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 02:27 PM

9. The obesity epidemic is taking us backwards

The first generation of Americans who will die younger then their parents has already been born. The American diet is a joke, I would almost be angry at the parents for feeding their children crap, but most of the parents are too uninformed themselves to eat right.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 03:59 PM

11. lack of education

Do not have access to good food, or lack information about good food.
No cultural support for healthy behavior.
Not a surprise. But very sad.

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Response to oldandhappy (Reply #11)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 09:55 AM

26. Thank you for this: "No cultural support for healthy behavior." This, to me, is the main driver

of the ill health the present generation(s) are experiencing. Our so-called culture is, in reality, not an organic culture that has risen up from the people, but a commercial culture forced upon us by rapacious capitalism. Capitalism makes sure we eat whatever is most profitable for them (the eater's health is irrelevant), have health insurance only if we can pay for it, have communities only suited for cars, etc., and it makes sure that any gubbmint meddlers who want to actually improve living conditions without kowtowing to capitalism are neutered immediately.

And then they blanket the country with the meme that it's "all the individual's fault" for being fat, unhealthy, out of shape, poor, uneducated, whatever.

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Response to Nay (Reply #26)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 11:05 PM

36. agree with you completely

Fortunately more coming out on the food industry selling us and addicting us to sugar, salt, fat, etc. But will this information penetrate the noisy screen of cable TV? Doubt it.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 04:03 PM

13. I can see it

I'm living it right now. Working out of the home, care giving for husband who is recovering from major surgery, trying to keep up with the daily chores as well as do the maintenance stuff on my own, too tired to make proper meals, and not enough sleep. Things happening like downstairs fridge quit with chickens in freezer, dishwasher quit which adds more work to the mix. Short on money to fix things... it goes on and on.

I realize its pretty extreme at this time, but even when things were normal I had to do more than I had time for. I think its the same for most women, most have to hold down jobs as well as look after the house, cook meals, and care give to either kids, elderly or sick people. You just get very very tired out.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 04:06 PM

14. Everyone ,but the filthy rich, is going down

 

That is what happens in a fascist police state.

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 04:20 PM

15. Lower life expectancy seems to track closest to obesity rates

And judging by the map, the southern US fares the worst.

The world map is interesting. Two places on earth where people live longest? Japan and Iceland. Maybe a diet rich in seafood?

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 08:56 PM

16. If your a poor woman (which most women aren't very wealthy),

move out of those counties that are killing you.

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Response to shcrane71 (Reply #16)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 10:14 AM

27. Let them move?

Okay, Marie Antoinette....

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Tue Mar 5, 2013, 09:10 PM

17. When you inflict poverty and a lack of job opportunities on a population, it lives less.

Perhaps if the United States had maintained its manufacturing capacity, where the middle class was built, it wouldn't be in this situation. More people would be making a livable wage. Certainly, they'd make enough money to afford a balanced diet instead of one built around sugars and fats.

Oh, but with the era of neo-liberalism now here, we decided it was best to move most of that capacity to China and India and other cheap labor pools. All those middle class jobs were sent overseas to countries where workers are paid 25 to 60 cents an hour.

This has meant record corporate profits, while the wages of the working class have stagnated or outright declined. There should be little wonder why bankers and business barons on Wall Street are enjoying record profits, and I see now that the Dow Jones Industrial Average has gone to new heights and set new records.

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Response to Selatius (Reply #17)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 12:05 AM

19. Russia's life expectancy dropped sharply after the U.S. promoted the Shock Doctrine there

In a country where no one had run a business for 70 years, the population was told, "You're on your own now."

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #19)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 08:06 AM

25. +1.

Only politics is holding them back here.

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Response to Selatius (Reply #17)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 02:54 AM

21. correct

the non-stop stress of worrying because of instability and uncertainty - it takes its toll

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 01:36 AM

20. Stress

Far too many are labeled when they are teens. They are lose,fast,trampy just by what they wear,what time they are out at night(even if they have a job). If they become pregnant they may as well wear a scarlet anchor around their neck. Of course they must be punished for such behavior so the ruling roosters do their best to force them to have the baby even though it can easily ruin their high school education(and beyond). Being a young parent or not the female finds jobs a sad lot with wages that are depressed by any standard of living. They can't advance,get raises,get benefits--no future is what it means. While some try even harder they may find it hard to do if they are trying to raise an infant/child. Others may get a "what the hell" attitude. Women are expected to breed on que(as soon as they are married). Again it makes little difference if that is what she wants or what she and her spouse/partner can afford. It is what "they" expect women to do. More stress caused by the peanut gallery. As the years roll on many women find juggling jobs,being a mother,cook etc a bit much. Yet it is expected of her from a society that seems to like to put women in their place. When something goes wrong in the family often you will hear it MUST be HER fault. If one of their kids gets in trouble the mother often gets blamed for working outside the home,not working hard enough to keep the little darlings from, say,shoplifting, because she never earned enough to support her offspring comfortable. If she dresses well some say she is looking for something outside of marriage. If she doesn't then she is asking for hubby to stray to greener pastures. Talk about stress! Finally she is now one of the sandwich generations. On the one hand she may have to help support adult children because jobs are so scarce and poor paying that many cannot even leave home and she may also have to care for aging parents at the same time. It's been a long time since we have had women who enjoyed the June Cleaver lifestyle.

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Response to grilled onions (Reply #20)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 02:56 AM

22. worthy of its own thread

you nail it, grilled onions

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 07:06 AM

23. Breast cancer, cervical cancer and heart disease go undiagnosed and untreated among the poor.

This country desperately needs HEALTH CARE! National health care, not private crap who barely covers anything.

:'(

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Response to darkangel218 (Reply #23)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 12:53 PM

30. "This country desperately needs HEALTH CARE!"

I agree!

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 08:05 AM

24. This is just pitiful to watch. nt

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 12:51 PM

29. Poverty kills

Is anyone really surprised at these statistics?

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 01:50 PM

31. We're useless anyway after our baby making days are over

*And* if we die before a certain age, they won't have to pay us our Social Security! Lucky Ducky for them!

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Response to bananas (Original post)

Wed Mar 6, 2013, 01:54 PM

32. aka The short and brutish life of the American poor

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