Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wow: US Life Expectancy Drops in Some Regions

Anyone left disputing the US is not crashing from its post as the world's superpower, take note. Life expectancies are falling. Not in a country fraught with civil war, food shortages or an exotic disease, but right here in the United States. According to Reuters, life expectancy is "declining in many poor counties, especially among women."

Could we now have the first generation in this country that will not live longer than its parents? If that's not a true sign that the American Era in world history has come to a close, Pound360 doesn't know what is.

According to one expert, "Life expectancy decline is something that has traditionally been considered a sign that the health and social systems have failed."

Overall, US life expectancy is up to 78 years from 76 in 1995 and 70 in 1955. However, the US ranks 42nd in global life expectancy.

In US populations where life expectancy is declining, the usual suspects are to blame: smoking, obesity and cancer. But some particularly troubling factors are mentioned in the Reuters piece: homicide and AIDS.

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.