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New evidence arises from the first impeachment hearing; one in four federal student loan borrowers defaults early on; and growing proof that vaping isn't the healthy alternative it was thought to be.

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It's World Diabetes Day, and health care, including the high cost of insulin and other drugs, is a top issue for many voters. Plus, do early states like Iowa and New Hampshire have an outsized role in the nomination process?

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Keeping Poor White Women Alive

PHOTO: Getting at-risk teenage girls involved in programs such as this Long Island triathlon challenge, may be one way to combat a disturbing trend: poor, undereducated white women in America are dying five years earlier than the generation before them. Couresy i-tri.
PHOTO: Getting at-risk teenage girls involved in programs such as this Long Island triathlon challenge, may be one way to combat a disturbing trend: poor, undereducated white women in America are dying five years earlier than the generation before them. Couresy i-tri.
September 9, 2013

EAST HAMPTON, N.Y. - The life expectancy of white, female high school dropouts has dropped markedly over the past 20 years, according to researchers in population, human longevity and public health. Poor, undereducated, white American women can now expect to die five years earlier than the generation before them. Obesity, diabetes, dead-end jobs, low wages, alcohol, drugs such as OxyContin and meth, and bad marriage partners are all suggested as stress factors.

One way to keep girls from heading in that direction may be to get them involved in things like i-tri, an Eastern Long Island triathlon challenge for at-risk girls founded by Theresa Roden.

"People are sitting around watching reality TV and not living their own reality. So, clubs and groups and opportunities for girls and women to be together are very important," Roden said.

Others have said an equal - or greater - responsibility lies with society as a whole to find ways to help these women out of a downward spiral of risky behavior and malaise.

Monica Potts has written an eye-opening article in The American Prospect, "What's Killing Poor White Women?", in which she pulled together research that has social scientists scrambling to find answers.

"One of the researchers I talked to said he believed that the root cause was this dramatic increase in the amount of economic and other stressers that that population faces," Potts said. High school dropouts have been affected more than most by the recent proliferation of low-wage, dead-end jobs.

Potts said there are no simple remedies for what is doing poor white women in.

"You need many, many interventions," Potts explained. "There are always going to be people who struggle a lot, and perhaps what is happening is that the world has become maybe even less able to catch those people than it was before."

Roden agreed that the answer is not as simple as, say, telling a girl to eat healthier food or take up running. She said it can start, though, with lighting a flame within someone. Then a group dynamic takes over.

"You form this camaraderie of girls. Women together are a really strong force. So when you're feeling, 'I can't do it,' there's always somebody next to you who says, 'Yeah, you can; come on, I'll go with you.'"

Mark Scheerer, Public News Service - NY