Short of an epidemic or a war occurring, developed countries almost never experience a dramatic drop in life expectancy among a significant segment of its population. But that's happened in for women living in one-fifth of American counties between 1999 and 2009, according to a study published in the journal Health Affairs.
The trend is both alarming and, on some levels, unsurprising. It tells a terribly sad tale how uneven is the access to American health care, but also provides a visceral reminder of how important it is to implement the Affordable Care Act aka "Obamacare" so women can get the preventive care that could lengthen and save their lives.
The study showed that in the space of a decade between 1999-2009, many white women lacking a high school diploma saw a five-year decline in the number of years they can expect to live in certain counties, located mostly in the South, the lower Midwest, and Appalachia.