Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

50+: Live Better, Longer

Font Size

Death Gap: Life Expectancy Falls for Some

Analysis Shows Life Expectancy in U.S. Down or Stagnant for 1 in 5 Women, 1 in 20 Men

Death Gap Greater for Women continued...

"It is disturbing, in a time when we feel like we know more and we should have better health, that the trends don't show everyone is benefitting," Redberg tells WebMD.

Redberg says much of the problem can be traced to the rise in obesity and to continued smoking.

"We see higher rates of unhealthy behaviors in those who are stressed," she says. "It is really a concern, with the current downturn in the economy, that people are going to be more stressed and the poorer will get poorer and health behaviors are going to get worse."

Ezzati says knowing exactly where health problems are worst should help focus public health efforts.

"If you just look at income disparities, it is hard to know where to start," he says. "But now we are looking at specific geographic areas. We hope it will give those states and regions some place to start and a way to monitor them over time to see how they are doing."

Redberg notes that obesity and tobacco control are national problems and calls for increased funding of the CDC's public health efforts and of education.

"Every time a county's education budget gets cut, it is physical education and nutrition programs that are the first to go," she says. "We really need to emphasize healthy diet and exercise -- because we know that these mortality problems are related to obesity."

Ezzati and colleagues report their findings in the April issue of the journal PloS Medicine.

1|2

Today on WebMD

Senior man doing press ups in gym
Slideshow
reflection of couple kissing
Quiz
 
man reviewing building plans
Quiz
Women working out and walking with weights
Community
 
fast healthy snack ideas
Article
how healthy is your mouth
Tool
 
dog on couch
Tool
doctor holding syringe
Slideshow
 
champagne toast
Slideshow
Youth listening to headphones
Slideshow
 
Man feeding woman
Slideshow
two senior women laughing
Article