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Your lifestyle, your quirk
There are certain areas of the world that are healthier and happier than others. One area can be thriving, with healthy people living to be in their nineties, while others can be laden with diseases and short lifespans. When choosing where to settle down or raise kids, you may want to take into account the ten states where women have a much shorter expectancy than normal. While living in these states does not guarantee you will or won’t live a shorter life, it’s still important to be aware of it so you can take necessary steps to ensure you remain as healthy as possible.
1. Mississippi. Women living in this state had high rates of obesity, smoking, inactivity, and chronic illness. On top of that, one in four women ages 18 to 44 did not have health insurance. Women are also failing to stay on top of their mammograms, as only 71% had up-to-date ones. Compared to other states, like Massachusetts at 88%, it is quite below average.
2. Arkansas. Like Mississippi, Arkansas has high rates of obesity, smoking, sedentary living, heart disease, and diabetes. One in five counties have experienced a decline in life expectancy for women. The state is acknowledging this and is doing all that it can to help. There are multiple health programs that help people quit smoking, and there’s also free family planning services, pap tests, and std testing.
3. Idaho. Unfortunately, this state ranked “last in the percentage of women over 49 who had a mammogram in the past two years,” sitting at 68%. There’s also a shortage of doctors in Idaho, as it has the lowest number of practicing physicians per person in the country (17 for every 10,000 people).
4. Kentucky. Between 1987 and 2007, nearly every county in the state experienced a decline in life expectancy for women. There’s also a shocking amount of women without health insurance. In 2010, the amount of women without health insurance was 20.8%.
5. Louisiana. It may be the state of my favorite show, True Blood, but it looks like it’s also the second-worst on 2010s women’s health report card. There’s a high percentage of sedentary living, obesity, unhealthy eating, and smoking. The good news: the state has slightly higher than average rates for Pap tests, as 83% of women had one in recent years.
6. Tennessee. It seems there is a drastic difference between living as a white woman or a minority in this southern state. Only 54.3% of black women received prenatal care, and 43.4% Hispanic women received it, while 75% of white women received it. The state is also cursed with the highest stroke death rate, and the third-highest breast cancer death rate.
7. Oklahoma. Unlike the other states, where counties experienced a decline, Oklahoma showed a statewide decline in women’s life expectancy. This may be due to Oklahoma conservative political views. Many Oklahomans “see legislation intended to improve public health, from health education to smoking cessation, as infringing upon the sanctity of the family.”
8. Texas. The Lone Star state is where women receive the least prenatal care in the US. Only 62% receive first-trimester care, and 31% had no health insurance. It also ranks high for STDs.
9. West Virginia. This state seems to lack physical activity. About 36% of women in the state had no leisure-time physical activity. There’s also a steady growth in obesity rates, with only 18.8% of women receiving the daily recommended servings of fruits and veggies. The state is beefing up its prevention and disease control centers, aiming to provide anti-obesity programs and teaming up with cities to promote physical activity.
10. Wyoming. With its sprawling landscape and mountains, you would think people would be overly active and healthy in this state. But this state is home to the largest gender wage gap in the U.S., with women only receiving 64 cents per dollar made by men. This undoubtedly leads to unhappiness for many women. They also have low rates of breast and cervical cancer screenings, partly due to screening centers being placed hundreds of miles from women’s homes.