In a speech at the Women In The World summit Friday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mentioned a startling fact:
Women in the U.S. are living shorter lives than women in almost every other industrialized country. And worse yet, female mortality rates are actually rising in many parts of the country.
“Think about it for a minute. We are the richest and most powerful country in the world,” Clinton said. “Yet many American women today are living shorter lives than their mothers, especially those with the least education. That is a historic reversal that rivals the decline in life expectancy for Russian men after the disintegration of the Soviet Union.”
We looked into Clinton’s claims, and it appears she is correct.
A study published last month by the Journal of Health Affairs found that, between 1992-96 to 2002-06, the number of premature deaths actually rose for women in some parts of the country
The research, conducted by David Kindig and Erika Cheng of the University of Wisconsin, found that nationally female mortality rate fell from 324 to 318 per 100,000 during that period.
But in 42.3 per cent of counties, the female mortality rate rose, from 317 to about 333 per 100,000. Male mortality rates, by contrast, rose in only about 3 per cent of counties.
Check out the map below, via Bill Gardner at the Incidental Economist. Red means that mortality worsened.
Bill GardnerAs Clinton noted in her speech, the reasons for this trend are varied.
“We did find significant associations between mortality rates and some of these factors, such as smoking rates for both sexes,” Kindig and Cheng wrote. “But socioeconomic factors such as the percentage of a county’s population with a college education and the rate of children living in poverty had equally strong or stronger relationships to fluctuations in mortality rates.”
Regardless of the causes, however, there is clearly something very alarming — and tragic — going on with women in America, particularly in the South and the Midwest.
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