Life expectancy has declined for many U.S. women, according to a joint study by the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Washington.
Nearly one in five women had decline of life expectancy hold steady, starting in the 1980s.
About half of the 2,000 county units studied were poor, rural areas, and the decline was blamed on chronic diseases related to smoking, overweight and obesity, and high blood pressure.
Those worst affected by the downturn live in the south, the Appalachians, southern parts of the Midwest and areas of Texas.
“The fact that this is happening to a large number of Americans should be a sign that the US health system needs serious rethinking," said the study‘s co-author Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.