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Life Expectancy Declines in the United States

life expectancy

When it comes to being healthy, the U.S. is not a world leader

Do you think that the United States has the best health care in the world? Do you live in fear that someday the United States will have a government-based health care program like those found in Europe or Canada? If so, perhaps it is time for a reality check. The fact is that according to research published in BMJ, life expectancy in the U.S. is lower than 18 other developed countries.

In a paper published in The BMJ, authors Ho and Hendi compared life expectancy trends from 1990 to 2015 in 18 countries commonly used in cross national comparisons. The U.S. was at the bottom of the list. Japan was on top, followed by Switzerland. The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 78.9 years, whereas in Japan it was 84. That is a five-year difference.

Here is the part that really horrified me: In most of the countries that are experiencing declines in life expectancy, the declines occurred mostly in the older age range (≥65 years). Causes of death were related to respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, nervous system disease, and mental disorders. In the United States, the declines in life expectancy were more concentrated at younger ages (0-65 years). Drug overdose is one of the key reasons for this decline. Suicide was the next most significant contributor.

When it comes to being healthy, the United States is not a world leader. Tragically, its people are dying too quickly, too unnecessarily, and too young.

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