Sigourney Weaver’s New Role
: Sigourney Weaver, 58, discusses working with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler on their new baby surrogate comedy, “Baby Mama,” which opens this Friday.

“The fact that they’re reminding people that women are incredibly
funny — why wouldn’t we be? — and that they have the drive to sort of
produce and write and direct and change a lot (of perception), I just
think it’s about time, and good for them,” said Weaver.

Women Pathfinders of the ’70s, Falling in a Pension Gap: “Women on the leading edge of the baby-boom generation are also at the forefront of other trends — ones that may work to their detriment in retirement,” writes Washington Post business columnist Martha M. Hamilton.

“I worry that they may be caught in a generational crevice, with their retirement made less secure by their early difficulties finding work, the lower wages they endured in the days when equal work seldom meant equal pay, and by changes in the pension system.”

Hamilton will take questions about retirement planning during an online chat today at noon EST.

Life Expectancy Drops for Some U.S. Women: On the front page of the Washington Post today is a surprising story on falling life expectancy for American women. David Brown writes:

In nearly 1,000 counties that together are home to about 12 percent of the nation’s women, life expectancy is now shorter than it was in the early 1980s, according to a study published today.

The downward trend is evident in places in the Deep South, Appalachia, the lower Midwest and in one county in Maine. It is not limited to one race or ethnicity but it is more common in rural and low-income areas. The most dramatic change occurred in two areas in southwestern Virginia (Radford City and Pulaski County), where women’s life expectancy has decreased by more than five years since 1983.

The trend appears to be driven by increases in death from diabetes, lung cancer, emphysema and kidney failure. It reflects the long-term consequences of smoking, a habit that women took up in large numbers decades after men did, and the slowing of the historic decline in heart disease deaths.

It may also represent the leading edge of the obesity epidemic. If so, women’s life expectancy could decline broadly across the United States in coming years, ending a nearly unbroken rise that dates to the mid-1800s.

The study (PDF) appears in PLoS journal.

Testosterone and Sex Drive: “Women who spray testosterone on their stomach to raise their sex drive may not see much benefit — unless they also want to grow hair on their belly,” reports The New York Times.

Writing in Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers said it was possible that the treatment held promise for premenopausal women experiencing a loss of sexual interest and satisfaction. But the study found only limited improvements, and the researchers said even these might have been caused by a placebo effect. Treatments containing testosterone are given for women whose sex drive diminishes after menopause; none are approved for those still menstruating, the study said.

How-to Books on Aging and Beauty: This USA Today story begins: “The self-help category has a new niche: beauty books that instruct baby-boomer women on how to transform themselves from crone to cougar, from old to hot, from withered to wow” — which makes us also wish for books on transforming language used to describe us.

Skin Creams With Stem Cells? Save Your Money: “A word of caution before you plunk down $80 or $155 for these potions: They may be no better than existing anti-aging skin creams, the best of which spur the skin to work harder but still produce only modest effects,” reports the L.A. Times.

Dermatologist Dr. Kenneth Beer says of the stem cell-touting products’ potential: “The notion that you could do that with a cream is a little bit ahead of itself. It’s a great piece of marketing because there is so much interest in stem cells.”

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