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Why are We Dying Younger?

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For several decades, women of the US lived longer than many of their counterparts in other countries. In fact, as of 1987, we were ranked in 15th place worldwide. As of 2007, however, the US dropped to 35th place. Why the change?

Dr. Christopher Murray, a professor at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, blamed bad lifestyle habits such as overeating and smoking, as well as the risk factors that come with these choices. Even poverty is noted as a possible culprit because obesity and poor nutrition is sometimes higher among people in this group. St. Louis and Baltimore, both poor areas, are reported as being among those dying youngest.

In argument against these facts, Tim Worstall of Forbes.com said that he doesn’t disagree with all of the information presented, but the report omitted the fact that some older people are migratory. This means that at retirement age, they move to somewhere like Florida, for example. And guess what group of women lived some of the longest lives? The women in good old southwest Florida (Collier County) live to the ripe old age of 86. Further, the women of Washington D.C. and San Francisco live longer than others worldwide due to healthier lifestyles.

After all is said and done, what does this mean to us? It means that we have to be deliberate about making better choices for ourselves. Although some things are definitely out of our control, we really do have our lives in our own hands most of the time. The choices we make now can save our lives later.


U.S. Life Expectancy Lags, Slips in Women

Life Expectancy is Falling for U.S. Women

Dita Faulkner is a freelance writer who is about to go on a long-awaited vacation. Counting down the days!

Reviewed June 20, 2011
Edited by Kate Kunkel

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.