Grim news for women in Emporia

Every one of the 13 chairs at The Hair Station is occupied this afternoon by women getting a wash and set or soaking their tired feet. Their chatter is louder than the bubble-top dryers. Miss Janie has decided to eat a slice of mixed berry pie with ice cream and call it lunch; the bridesmaids at Mary Baird¿s daughter¿s wedding will be wearing short yellow dresses and cowboy boots. You wouldn't know it from the cheerful talk, but this little southern town has lately acquired a sad distinction: Women here are likely to die nearly a decade sooner than their counterparts less than 200 miles away.
Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times
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