Life Expectancy Falling In Many U.S. Counties

A county-level analysis of life expectancy found a large majority of American counties have been falling behind as compared to countries such as Japan and Canada that rank among the top performers in the world. The research, from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, found that 80 percent of counties in America fell below the average of the 10 nations with the highest life expectancies between 2000 and 2007. For men, life expectancy ranged from 65.9 to 81.1 years and, for women, between 73.5 and 86 years. Regionally, the worst performing counties were in the South, Appalachia, and Northern Texas and the best life expectancies were found on the coasts and in the Northern Plains. The authors noted that, more than racial or economic factors, the reason behind America’s poor performance was primarily preventable factors such as smoking, high obesity rates, and other lifestyle-related behaviors. More here and here.

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