Life expectancy of American women drops for first time since 1918
For the first time since 1918, the life expectancy of American women has dropped in certain areas of the country.
According to a study published today, for 12% of the nation’s women, life expectancy is actually shorter than it was in the early 1980s.
Areas where the trend is most apparent include the Deep South, Appalachia, the lower Midwest and one county in Maine.
The drop has not been attributed to one particular race or ethnicity, however it is more common in rural and low-income areas. In one instance in Virginia, women’s life expectancy has dropped by more than five years since 1983.
The trend appears to be down to increases in death from diabetes, lung cancer, emphysema and kidney failure, reflecting the long-term consequences of smoking.
It is thought that the obesity epidemic is also a factor. If that is the case, American women’s life expectancy could drop across the whole of America in future years.
Physician, Christopher J.L. Murray said: ‘I think this is a harbinger. This is not going to be isolated to this set of counties, is my guess.’
Elizabeth G. Nabel, director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health commented: ‘The data demonstrate a very alarming and deeply concerning increase in health disparities in the United States.’