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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Trends go on until they stop

Life expectancy is declining in some parts of the US. It is probably the same in the UK.

I suppose there have always been massive differences between the rich and the poor and those with a healthy and not so healthy lifestyle. But since we have been recording ‘healthiness’ it has been improving, albeit in some places faster than others. Not so now.

An article in the New York Times explains what is happening in the US. The US Counties with significant declines were concentrated in Appalachia, the Southeast, Texas, the southern Midwest and along the Mississippi River.

The life expectancy of men in some parts of Glasgow is around 70 which means there is over a ten year difference between the best and worst places in the UK.

The horrible concoction of obesity, drug and drink dependency and HIV are to blame for the problems. There are few signs these are going to improve in the near future.

The reason for telling you this sad story is to reinforce the need to understand the details of demographics and not just the headline averages. Dick Stroud

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