For the first time since the Spanish influenza of 1918, life expectancy is falling for a significant number of American women.
In nearly 1,000 counties that together are home to about 12 percent of the nation’s women, life expectancy is now shorter than it was in the early 1980s, according to a study published today.
The downward trend is evident in places in the Deep South, Appalachia, the lower Midwest and in one county in Maine. It is not limited to one race or ethnicity but it is more common in rural and low-income areas.
Not to fear. We have the best health care in the world, right? Right?
The phenomenon appears to be not only new but distinctly American.
"If you look in Western Europe, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, we don’t see this," Murray said.