According to this Daily Yonder article, in nearly one out of three (19) Alabama counties, women can expect to live shorter lives than a decade ago. The article concludes with this:

In rural America, only 556 counties have male longevity rates above the national average — or 27% of all rural counties.

The researchers point to a number of factors that affect longevity. Individual health risks, from smoking to obesity to diabetes, are important.

The researchers also note the “poor — and worsening — national and local performance of US communities” in terms of health care. “The critical insight this work underscores is something that we’ve known for years — that both health and health care are produced locally,” Elliott Fisher, a physician at Dartmouth Medical School who studies regional variations, told the Washington Post.

This shows why headlines like Randolph hospital closing leaves residents bewildered should garner greater policy emphasis and consideration.