Women living in America's poorest counties have seen their average life expectancy decline in recent years, according to new work published in The Public Library of Science. In a previous study, Majid Ezzati and colleagues had described life expectancy in the country as revealing "eight Americas" defined by race, location and income. Differences in the predicted life expectancy of the groups could be as much as 18 years.
The new research shows that the gaps between the best-off and worst-off groups are widening, with declines in life expectancy among the poorest populations connected to smoking, high blood pressure and obesity. Ezzati discusses the findings and what the researchers are calling the "increased inequalities in mortality in the United States."