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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    U.S. life span shorter

    August 11, 2007

    Americans are living longer than ever, but not as long as people in 41 other countries.

    For decades, the United States has been slipping in international rankings of life expectancy, as other countries improve health care, nutrition and lifestyles.

    Countries that surpass the U.S. include Japan and most of Europe, as well as Jordan, Guam and the Cayman Islands.

    "Something's wrong here when one of the richest countries in the world, the one that spends the most on health care, is not able to keep up with other countries," said Dr. Christopher Murray, head of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

    A baby born in the United States in 2004 will live an average of 77.9 years. That life expectancy ranks 42nd, down from 11th two decades earlier, according to international numbers provided by the Census Bureau and domestic numbers from the National Center for Health Statistics.

    Andorra, a tiny country in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain, had the longest life expectancy, at 83.5 years, according to the Census Bureau. It was followed by Japan, Macau, San Marino and Singapore.

    The shortest life expectancies were clustered in Sub-Saharan Africa, a region that has been hit hard by an epidemic of HIV and AIDS, as well as famine and civil strife. Swaziland has the shortest, at 34.1 years, followed by Zambia, Angola, Liberia and Zimbabwe.

    Researchers said several factors have contributed to the United States falling behind other industrialized nations. A major one is that 45 million Americans lack health insurance, while Canada and many European countries have universal health care, they say.

    But "it's not as simple as saying we don't have national health insurance," said Sam Harper, an epidemiologist at McGill University in Montreal. "It's not that easy."

    Among the other factors:

    Adults in the United States have one of the highest obesity rates in the world. Nearly a third of U.S. adults 20 years and older are obese, while about two-thirds are overweight, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

    "The U.S. has the resources that allow people to get fat and lazy," said Paul Terry, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Emory University in Atlanta. "We have the luxury of choosing a bad lifestyle as opposed to having one imposed on us by hard times."

    Racial disparities. Black Americans have an average life expectancy of 73.3 years, five years shorter than white Americans.

    Black American males have a life expectancy of 69.8 years, slightly longer than the averages for Iran and Syria and slightly shorter than in Nicaragua and Morocco.

    A relatively high percentage of babies born in the U.S. die before their first birthday, compared with other industrialized nations.

    Forty countries, including Cuba, Taiwan and most of Europe had lower infant mortality rates than the U.S. in 2004. The U.S. rate was 6.8 deaths for every 1,000 live births. It was 13.7 for Black Americans, the same as Saudi Arabia.

    "It really reflects the social conditions in which African American women grow up and have children," said Dr. Marie C. McCormick, professor of maternal and child health at the Harvard School of Public Health. "We haven't done anything to eliminate those disparities."

    Another reason for the U.S. drop in the ranking is that the Census Bureau now tracks life expectancy for a lot more countries — 222 in 2004 — than it did in the 1980s. However, that does not explain why so many countries entered the rankings with longer life expectancies than the United States.

    Murray, from the University of Washington, said improved access to health insurance could increase life expectancy. But, he predicted, the U.S. won't move up in the world rankings as long as the health care debate is limited to insurance.

    Policymakers also should focus on ways to reduce cancer, heart disease and lung disease, said Murray. He advocates stepped-up efforts to reduce tobacco use, control blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and regulate blood sugar.

    "Even if we focused only on those four things, we would go along way toward improving health care in the United States," Murray said. "The starting point is the recognition that the U.S. does not have the best health care system. There are still an awful lot of people who think it does."
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  2. #2
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    most of this goes back to the lack of a national health care program. Unless this happens I don't imagine this will be changing anytime soon.

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    Your chances of living a longer life as an average American are greatly diminished if some low-life shitball decides that he is more entitled to your money/automobile than you are.

    At least in southern Florida, anyway.
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
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  4. #4
    Eruption
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    Quote Originally Posted by it's me View Post
    most of this goes back to the lack of a national health care program. Unless this happens I don't imagine this will be changing anytime soon.
    Or maybe it's exactly what the article says: Americans are fat and lazy. But I guess socialism can cure that as well...
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  5. #5
    Atomic Punk FORD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCJanko View Post
    Or maybe it's exactly what the article says: Americans are fat and lazy. But I guess socialism can cure that as well...
    Considering it's the corporatists putting High Fructose Corn Poison, cancer causing chemicals, and growth hormones into the food, which doesn't happen in the "socialist" countries, you might be right about that.
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  6. #6
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCJanko View Post
    Or maybe it's exactly what the article says: Americans are fat and lazy. But I guess socialism can cure that as well...
    We Canadians are just as fat and lazy and we live 2 years longer on average.

    And your fat and lazy theory certainly doesn't explain the % of infant death.

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk WinterlessIceness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by it's me View Post
    We Canadians are just as fat and lazy and we live 2 years longer on average.
    Except there are 10 times less Canadians than Americans.

  8. #8
    Atomic Punk chefcraig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WinterlessIceness View Post
    Except there are 10 times less Canadians than Americans.
    For now. Give it time.
    "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
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  9. #9
    Atomic Punk WinterlessIceness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefcraig View Post
    For now. Give it time.
    With Arkansas couples having 17 offsprings and counting, I dunno

  10. #10
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WinterlessIceness View Post
    Except there are 10 times less Canadians than Americans.
    and this is relevant because?

  11. #11
    Atomic Punk WinterlessIceness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by it's me View Post
    and this is relevant because?
    Because it requires less funding and effort to control healthcare of TEN TIMES smaller population. Let me put it this way to make it more visual - 30 mil versus 300 mil. 30 sick people against 300 sick people. 30 highly educated professionals opposed to 300 highly educated professionals.
    Last edited by WinterlessIceness; 08.12.07 at 09:37 AM.

  12. #12
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WinterlessIceness View Post
    Because it requires less funding and effort to control healthcare of TEN TIMES smaller population.
    lol. so the reason why the States has a lower life expectancy is due to a higher population?

    you do realize that the States spends much more than TEN TIMES what Canada does on health care.

  13. #13
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WinterlessIceness View Post
    Let me put it this way to make it more visual - 30 mil versus 300 mil. 30 sick people against 300 sick people. 30 highly educated professionals opposed to 300 highly educated professionals.
    comepletely irrelevant. It's an average. This has nothing to do with the size of their population. I imagine that most of the indivdual states has a lower life expectancy as well.

  14. #14
    Atomic Punk WinterlessIceness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by it's me View Post
    lol. so the reason why the States has a lower life expectancy is due to a higher population?

    you do realize that the States spends much more than TEN TIMES what Canada does on health care.

    comepletely irrelevant. It's an average. This has nothing to do with the size of their population. I imagine that most of the indivdual states has a lower life expectancy as well.
    I'm pretty sure middle-class white American has an equal or a higher life span than a middle-class white Canadian. I'm also pretty sure the gun issue alone among the population excluding middle-class white Americans screws up the average life span big time.

    Mmm.. what's "comepletely" and "indivdual"?

  15. #15
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WinterlessIceness View Post
    I'm pretty sure middle-class white American has an equal or a higher life span than a middle-class white Canadian. I'm also pretty sure the gun issue alone among the population excluding middle-class white Americans screws up the average life span big time.

    Mmm.. what's "comepletely" and "indivdual"?
    when I read the posts of someone who is making no sense I often type quickly and hence make the occasional spelling mistake. Sorry if that offends you.

    The gun issue might have alot to do with it, just like the infant death stats (hence my original post) something that you, for whatever reason, completely ignored. If there was a national health care policy I imagine this would be lowered.

    I have no idea what the average middle class white person life expectancy is in America or Canada. I imagine those are the only people you care about. Not me, even though I imagine I would fall in that category.

 

 

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