In a new, disturbing study conducted by researchers David Kindig and Erika Cheng of the University of Wisconsin, there is more convincing evidence that the life expectancy for some women in the United States is falling. The results of the study were released Monday in Health Affairs, the leading peer-reviewed journal at the intersection of health, health care, and policy.
The data, which experts are finding difficult to explain, comes from a study in which the federal death data was analyzed for practically all of the counties in the United States for the past ten years. The study calculated mortality rates for women who are of the age 75 and younger since many such deaths are presumed preventable.
Disturbingly, the research reveals that women aged 75 and younger are dying at higher rates than they have in previous times in about half of the nation’s more-than-3,141 counties. The study says that many of these counties lie in the rural areas of the nation, as well as in the South and West portions of the United States.
Comparatively, men’s life expectancy has remained the same or improved for nearly all the counties in the country.
The study reveals that this decrease in life expectancy is most prominent in disadvantaged white women. While some theorists say the trend is baffling, other theorists cite higher smoking rates, obesity, and less education as factors for the trend.
Yet, women – as a rule – outlive men and that data remains the same. A female born today has an average life span of 81 years while a male has 76 years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, indicates that the growth of life expectancy in women is not growing at the same rate that the men are currently experiencing.