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Virginia longevity gap means a sad fate for some Southern women

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mahatmakanejeeves Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-03-11 03:42 PM
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Virginia longevity gap means a sad fate for some Southern women
Virginia longevity gap means a sad fate for some Southern women

By Faye Fiore, Los Angeles Times
August 3, 2011

Reporting from Emporia, Va. Every one of the 13 chairs at the Hair Station is occupied this afternoon by women getting a wash and set or soaking their tired feet. Their chatter is louder than the bubble-top dryers. Miss Janie has decided to eat a slice of mixed berry pie with ice cream and call it lunch; the bridesmaids at Mary Baird's daughter's wedding will be wearing short yellow dresses and cowboy boots.

You wouldn't know it from the cheerful talk, but this little Southern town has lately acquired a sad distinction: Women here are likely to die nearly a decade sooner than their counterparts less than 200 miles away.

Virginia has the widest longevity gap of any state: In Fairfax County, an upscale exurb of Washington, a woman on average can expect to live to age 84. Here in Greensville County, a three-hour drive down Interstate 95, she can expect to die by 75, according to research conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

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