Women in Parts of Rural America Face Worsening Mortality Rates
A study released in March by the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute has found that recent female mortality rates are worsening in 42.8 percent of counties nationwide, while male mortality rates have increased in only 3.4 percent of counties. The researchers responsible for the findings are Population Health professor David Kindig, MD, PhD and Eric Cheng, PhD candidate at the UW. The Statistics were studied from county information collected between the years of 1992-96 and 2002-2006. Researchers have identified several factors, including lower education levels, living in the South or Western parts of the United States and high smoking rates as contributing to the women in those counties living shorter lives.
There’s a little discussion of the possible reasons :
“Socioeconomic and behavioral factors are underappreciated for their effects on health, but with data like this, we see that those factors are important again and again,” says Kindig, who was recently named to lead an Institute of Medicine roundtable to learn why Americans have worse health and shorter lives than people in other rich, industrialized nations despite spending more on medical care than any other nation.
“Our results underscore the complicated policy reality that there is no single silver bullet for population health improvement,” the authors concluded. “Investments in all determinants of health - including health care, public health, health behaviors and residents’ social and physical environments - will be required.”
There’s a little more discussion here:
Erika Cheng: I might have expected men to have improved more than women because women tend to do better in health studies, so maybe there’d be less room for them to improve. But we certainly didn’t expect the opposite to be true, for women to be doing worse. You expect health to improve over time. You just do. So it was shocking for both of us to find that it wasn’t true for females.
The full report is here, but you have to pay for it.
What I don’t see is any consideration of access to reproductive health services as a factor. I think it is implicated by the fact that women in rural areas are doing the worst.
The war on women is not without casualties.