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BTD Forums  /  Journal Club and Literature Review  /  Declines in US Life Expectancy 1990 to 2008
Posted by: C_Sharp, Saturday, September 22, 2012, 10:34pm
Health Affairs has reported that some segments of the US population experienced a considerable decrease in life expectancy from 1990 to 2008.

http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/31/8/1803.abstract

In 2008, white men who did not have a high school diploma lost three years of life compared to similar people in 1990.

White women without a high school diploma lost a full five years of their lives.

Declines in life expectancy in developed countries are unusual.

A similar decline in life expectancy was associated with the Spanish influenza epidemic of 1918 .


Posted by: Amazone I., Sunday, September 23, 2012, 9:49am; Reply: 1
C_sharp don't you think that those statistics are over due to toxicity of the envirenements ??)  :o :-/(shrug)
Posted by: chrissyA, Sunday, September 23, 2012, 1:33pm; Reply: 2
Amazone I. - That was my first thought as well. Environmental toxicity combined with the Standard American Diet  :(
Posted by: Johnny B., Sunday, September 23, 2012, 3:05pm; Reply: 3
Good thing I was born in 1989!
Posted by: Averno, Sunday, September 23, 2012, 3:35pm; Reply: 4

Environmental toxicity exposure, the standard American diet, access to health care, downward mobility and violent crime are all factors here.  It can be argued, though, that the overarching condition is poor education.
Posted by: RedLilac, Sunday, September 23, 2012, 3:35pm; Reply: 5
It’s only going to get worse.  Poor, inner city people don’t have the food choices that people in more affluent neighborhoods have.  Their grocery stores are stocked differently. They have no space to grow their own fruit & vegetables like suburban folk do.  They can’t raise their own livestock like country residents can.  
Posted by: ruthiegirl, Sunday, September 23, 2012, 3:58pm; Reply: 6
Most of them are also working crazy hours at minimum wage jobs and lack the time to do a lot of food prep, even if they did have the money or space to do so.

I still wonder what this study is really showing. It's specifically talking about high school dropouts, while also explaining that this group is shrinking. There could be other factors that are contributing both to lack of education AND poor life expectancy- maybe the people already weaker (and thus more likely to die younger) lack the brain function necessary to complete high school. Maybe there are other socio-economic factors at work that lead to both lack of education and poor life expectancy- such as gang membership or drug abuse.
Posted by: Eric, Monday, September 24, 2012, 1:51am; Reply: 7
It's been known for a long time that lower income individuals are less healthy & don't live as long.  I think diet is part of it, but I believe stress (money problems, quality of life) is likely the biggest factor.
Posted by: Johnny B., Monday, September 24, 2012, 2:58am; Reply: 8
Quoted from Averno

Environmental toxicity exposure, the standard American diet, access to health care, downward mobility and violent crime are all factors here.  It can be argued, though, that the overarching condition is poor education.


The profit motive within a competitive structure is what underlies all these things.  It goes against the ecological systems we depend upon to survive and degrade our social relations.  If there's a societal problem and no profit to be made it usually doesn't get solved.
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