Stalling longevity

A new analysis published in the journal Population Health Metrics suggests that U.S. longevity progress has begun to stall. The researchers conclude that a decline in longevity is now occurring in absolute terms among women living primarily in southern states and representing almost 25% of the nation’s counties. They also caution that overall U.S. longevity is now broadly slipping relative to other industrialized countries and many industrializing ones, with the U.S. projected to be ranked 37th in the world for men and women based on the new analysis. Though high income inequality in the U.S. is predicted by some research to reduce health and limit progress on longevity, the new results are still startling given that the U.S. has the highest levels of health spending per capita in the world. Less surprisingly, the negative and trailing longevity trends are attributed by the researchers to increased smoking and high blood pressure among women, and to rapidly accelerating obesity overall. All are health risks that have proven resistant to traditional medical and public health efforts. Learn more about the new findings at U.S. Life Expectancy Slips or read the full report at Falling Behind.

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