According to a recent study, women’s life spans in the United States are improving at a slower pace than men’s, and are actually shorter in many areas than they were two decades ago! Even though women are still expected to outlive men, the study from the University of Washington is cause for concern. The study is based on mortality data by age, sex, and county from 1989 to 2009. In this study, life expectancy for men improved by an average of 4.6 years, but only by 2.7 years for women. The director of the research team expressed his concern, “A gain in life expectancy should be equal among men and women. This is a wake-up call for all of us. It’s tragic that in a country as wealthy as the United States, and with all the medical expertise we have, that so many girls will live shorter lives than their mothers.”
Life expectancy stopped improving, or even shortened for women since 1999 in 661 U.S. counties and in 166 counties for men. These declining rates also appear in 84% of Oklahoma counties, 58% of Tennessee counties, and 33% of Georgia counties. According to the research, a larger percentage of women than men are not adequately treating high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Researchers reported that many physicians do not treat women with heart risk factors as aggressively as they do men. Preventable causes, such as tobacco, alcohol, and obesity seem to be at the heart of the lower life expectancies for women.
Across the United States, there’s nearly a 12-year gap in women’s life spans. Women live the longest in Collier, Fla., (85.8), but have the shortest life spans in McDowell, W.Va. (74.1). In 1989, the gap was only 8.7 years. In Australia, life expectancy improved 12 years in both men and women from 1989 to 2009. We can do better. We can improve longevity if you and your family and friends follow the program in this book.