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时间:2018-12-26 16:06来源:互联网 提供网友:nan   字体: [ ]

Why Is Life Expectancy1 Falling in US?

Suicides3 and drug overdoses are two reasons for a continuing decrease in how long Americans are expected to live.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported recently that there were more than 2.8 million deaths in the United States in 2017. Of those, 47,000 were suicides and 70,000 were drug overdoses.

If you want to understand why life expectancy is decreasing in America, the state of West Virginia may offer some answers.

A West Virginian story

Maggie Hill has lived in West Virginia for all of her life. Hill, who is 67, told the Associated Press about the many deaths in her family. An older brother drowned in a flood. A sister died in a house fire. Two siblings5, both who smoked, died of lung cancer. Two others died at birth. Her first husband died of heart failure.

Then there were the suicides. Two of her three sons shot themselves to death. Her second husband killed himself one Sunday morning while she was still in bed.

“I don’t think people have a lot to live for,” hill said. “I really and truly don’t see things getting better.”

Life expectancy

Dr. Michael Brumage is a public health expert at West Virginia University. He used to run the health department in Charleston, West Virginia. He said, “It seems that the worst outcomes7 happen here first.”

Among the 50 American states, West Virginia has the second- lowest life expectancy, behind only Mississippi. Hawaii has the highest life expectancy.

The nationwide drug overdose death rate today is what West Virginia’s was 10 years ago. In fact, West Virginia has had the nation’s highest rate of drug overdose deaths for several years.

The nation’s suicide2 rate today is where West Virginia’s was nearly 20 years ago.

West Virginia also has more people affected8 by diabetes9, heart disease and obesity10 than most other American states.

Ten years ago, the AP described the West Virginia city of Huntington as the unhealthiest place in America. The finding was based on health information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report led the city and the wider area to make changes to food served at schools. The area also made improvements to parks and sidewalks in an effort to fight obesity and related health problems.

As the city was trying to deal with its citizens’ weight problems, a new health crisis11 came to Huntington: opioid addiction12.

One summer day in 2016, emergency workers in Huntington treated 28 overdoses in six hours — including two deaths. The city later became known as America’s overdose capital.

There is hope

There are several new projects around the state that aim to get children to exercise and eat healthier foods.

Kayla Wright is director of an organization called Try This West Virginia. The organization is paying for many of the projects. She said, “We want to give people hope that we can be knocked off the unhealthiest list” of states. One program paid for high school students to build a running trail. Another helped people learn to grow a garden.

In Williamson County, local leaders — led by a young doctor named C. Donovan Beckett — developed a series of programs aimed at creating a culture of health.

They opened the Williamson Health and Wellness Center for free medical care. They set up a community garden, a vegetable delivery service and a running club. In the coming year, there will be a federally funded treatment program for people addicted13 to drugs.

One of the most successful programs is one that sends health workers to the homes of people with diabetes.

Jamie Muncy is one success story.

The 48-year-old lost his job and his marriage was in ruins. Last fall, he finally stopped taking opioids. He began taking the drug after he hurt his foot.

He told the AP, “I had no motivation” to be healthy. “I didn’t care.”

His weight went from 75 kilograms to 89 kilograms. He had high blood sugar levels. A doctor from Williamson Center put him on a special diet, connected him with a physical therapist and put him in the home-visit diabetes program.

Now Muncy walks 1.6 kilometer a day and buys vegetables at the farmers’ market. The changes to his everyday life have helped him bring his weight down to 66 kilograms.

As for Maggie Hill, the lifelong West Virginian, she adopted Charity, a young girl her son had been raising. He lost his right to raise Charity because of his continued struggle with drug addiction.

Charity has given Hill’s life a sense of purpose, she said.

Charity, who is 10, is a good student and hopes to go to college. If Charity does go away to college one day, Hill says she will move there with her.

I'm Ashley Thompson.

And I'm Jonathan Evans.

Words in This Story

overdose - n. an amount of drug or medicine that is too much and dangerous

sibling4 - n. a brother or sister

outcome6 - n. something that happens as a result of an activity or process

obesity - n. the problem of very fat

opioid addiction - n. a strong harmful need to use pain-killing drugs

knock off - v. to remove or stop something

fund - v. to provide money


1 expectancy tlMys     
  • Japanese people have a very high life expectancy.日本人的平均寿命非常长。
  • The atomosphere of tense expectancy sobered everyone.这种期望的紧张气氛使每个人变得严肃起来。
2 suicide ssAwA     
  • The number of suicide has increased.自杀案件的数量增加了。
  • The death was adjudged a suicide by sleeping pills.该死亡事件被判定为服用安眠药自杀。
3 suicides 2365a3e9253e6485a6881cd4c281dda6     
n.自杀( suicide的名词复数 );自取灭亡;自杀者;自杀性行为
  • Since when do suicides miss twice, lay down a rug and start over? 自杀什么时候会失手二次后铺好地毯然后再试一次? 来自电影对白
  • Chris: And the reality is suicides go to hell? 克里斯:而现实就是自杀者要下地狱? 来自互联网
4 sibling TEszc     
  • Many of us hate living in the shadows of a more successful sibling.我们很多人都讨厌活在更为成功的手足的阴影下。
  • Sibling ravalry has been common in this family.这个家里,兄弟姊妹之间的矛盾很平常。
5 siblings 709961e45d6808c7c9131573b3a8874b     
n.兄弟,姐妹( sibling的名词复数 )
  • A triplet sleeps amongst its two siblings. 一个三胞胎睡在其两个同胞之间。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • She has no way of tracking the donor or her half-siblings down. 她没办法找到那个捐精者或她的兄弟姐妹。 来自时文部分
6 outcome 60ryR     
  • The outcome of the experiment is in the lap of the gods.实验结果尚难预料。
  • The outcome of the war is hard to foretell.战争胜负难以预卜。
7 outcomes ada150cea270ef5267b5ef2ff2366846     
结果( outcome的名词复数 )
  • The two scenarios provide illustrations of consistent set of outcomes for range of possible policies. 这两个方案说明某一套可能采取的政策将会产生的一系列后果。
  • We analyzed all the possible outcomes of your mission, Commander. 我们分析过所有可能的结果,指挥官。
8 affected TzUzg0     
  • She showed an affected interest in our subject.她假装对我们的课题感到兴趣。
  • His manners are affected.他的态度不自然。
9 diabetes uPnzu     
  • In case of diabetes, physicians advise against the use of sugar.对于糖尿病患者,医生告诫他们不要吃糖。
  • Diabetes is caused by a fault in the insulin production of the body.糖尿病是由体內胰岛素分泌失调引起的。
10 obesity Dv1ya     
  • One effect of overeating may be obesity.吃得过多能导致肥胖。
  • Sugar and fat can more easily lead to obesity than some other foods.糖和脂肪比其他食物更容易导致肥胖。
11 crisis pzJxT     
  • He had proved that he could be relied on in a crisis.他已表明,在紧要关头他是可以信赖的。
  • The topic today centers about the crisis in the Middle East.今天课题的中心是中东危机。
12 addiction JyEzS     
  • He stole money from his parents to feed his addiction.他从父母那儿偷钱以满足自己的嗜好。
  • Areas of drug dealing are hellholes of addiction,poverty and murder.贩卖毒品的地区往往是吸毒上瘾、贫困和发生谋杀的地方。
13 addicted dzizmY     
  • He was addicted to heroin at the age of 17.他17岁的时候对海洛因上了瘾。
  • She's become addicted to love stories.她迷上了爱情小说。
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