Poor white women and a public health mystery

Over the past 18 years the life expectancy for white women who didn't finish high school has dropped precipitously. Today, those women can expect to die five years earlier than their counterparts a generation ago. It's one of the biggest magnitude losses in life expectancy ever recorded, and nobody knows what's causing it. At the American Prospect, Monica Potts reports on scientists efforts to untangle the knot of correlations at the heart of this public health mystery and tells the story of one woman, Crystal Wilson, whose life and death mirrors the statistics.

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  1. Maybe because the cost of healthcare has exploded so much that poor people can't afford as much care as they used to? Probably a number of factors from obesity to the demographic they're looking at "uneducated poor white women" shrinking as a percentage of the population and concentrating the worst cases into the statistic.

  2. kpkpkp says:

    You left out "voting Republican"

  3. Interesting article. The amount of stress the working poor are under in this country is just enormous. Women tend to shoulder much of that. I don't find this study surprising in the least, actually.

  4. You do realize these are human beings right? People, real live people, with lives and loves and problems and families. And you're just shitting all over them because you disagree with their politics. These are people who have little to no political capital and no access to the halls of power at all. While they might not be on the bottom of the ladder, they are certainly near the bottom.

    If you really think the democrats are innocent in our recent race to the bottom (or for politicians, race to the top to see who can reap the most corporate money), you need to go see who it was the gutted welfare and put in the final paving stones for the neo-liberarlization of the economy. The republicans did not do it alone. We've all been sold out by the power structure and both parties are responsible for these horrible conditions. As long as we are viewing this from a perspective of dems vs. repubs, or liberals vs. conservatives we play right into that game and we all lose.

  5. That was heartbreaking.

    I just read a book review of Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much by Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir in The Economist, and it seems very apropos. I wasn't planning on reading the book, but I think I will now.

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