Study shows declining life span for some US women

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“I think the most likely explanation for why mortality is getting worse is those factors are just stronger in those counties,” Murray said, adding that abuse of Oxycontin and other drugs also may add to the problem.

Some also think the statistics could reflect a migration of healthier women out of rural areas, leaving behind others who are too poor and unhealthy to relocate. That would change the rate, and make life expectancy in a county look worse, explained Bob Anderson of the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics

“We shouldn’t jump to the conclusion that more people are getting sicker in these geographic areas than previously,” he said.

But that is open to debate. Migration didn’t seem to affect male death rates. Murray disagrees with the theory, saying he has tracked a great deal of movement from urban areas to less-populated counties.

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Online:

University of Wisconsin study, http://content.healthaffairs.org

University of Washington search site for specific county life expectancies, http://bit.ly/13CgCla

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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