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Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:51 PM

New Health Rankings: Of 17 Nations, U.S. Is Dead Last



The report was prepared by a panel of doctors, epidemiologists, demographers, and other researchers charged by the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine to better understand Americans' comparative health. They examined when and why people die in the U.S. and 16 other countries, including Australia, Japan, Canada, and nations in Western Europe. The data they pulled -- from such bodies as the World Health Organization and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development -- already existed, but no one had yet examined it this comprehensively.
The results surprised even the researchers. To their alarm, they said, they found a "strikingly consistent and pervasive" pattern of poorer health at all stages of life, from infancy to childhood to adolescence to young adulthood to middle and old age. Compared to people in other developed nations, Americans die far more often from injuries and homicides. We suffer more deaths from alcohol and other drugs, and endure some of the worst rates of heart disease, lung disease, obesity, and diabetes.

These disproportionate deaths especially affect young people. For three decades, Americans, particularly men, have had either the lowest or near the lowest likelihood of surviving to age 50. The most powerful reasons found for that were homicide, car accidents, other kinds of accidents, non-communicable diseases, and perinatal problems like low birth weight and premature birth, which contribute to high infant mortality.
Among the most striking of the report's findings are that, among the countries studied, the U.S. has:

•The highest rate of death by violence, by a stunning margin
•The highest rate of death by car accident, also dramatically so
•The highest chance that a child will die before age 5
•The second-highest rate of death by coronary heart disease
•The second-highest rate of death by lung disease
•The highest teen pregnancy rate
•The highest rate of women dying due to complications of pregnancy and childbirth
The report does reveal bright spots: Americans are more likely to survive cancer or stroke, and if we live to age 75 we're likely to keep on living longer than others. But these advances are dwarfed by the grave shortcomings.
The authors took pains to counteract the possible assumption that U.S. numbers must be negatively skewed by poor and underserved populations. In fact, the report cites data suggesting that even white, well-off Americans live sicker and die sooner than similarly situated people elsewhere. Not that one factor is likely to be able to explain everything. The panelists identified a host of factors: More than other countries, our health care system is fragmented, unaffordable for many people, and short on primary care. Of the countries studied, we have the highest rate of children living in poverty. More of our communities are built around cars, which may discourage exercise.


As individuals, the study found, "Americans are less likely to smoke and may drink less heavily than their counterparts in peer countries, but they consume the most calories per capita, abuse more prescription and illicit drugs, are less likely to fasten seatbelts, have more traffic accidents involving alcohol, and own more firearms." Yet even fit, nonsmoking Americans have higher disease rates than those elsewhere, the report said.
Here's the rub. Reading through the panel's suggested solutions, it's impossible not to notice that a number of these involve public money and policy, and so would have to get through Congress. Many of the core recommendations read like the House Republicans' hit list: affordable health insurance for everyone, programs to encourage healthier behavior (read: nanny state), a stronger public safety net for people in poverty. There's even a hint of gun control.


http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/01/new-health-rankings-of-17-nations-us-is-dead-last/267045/



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Reply New Health Rankings: Of 17 Nations, U.S. Is Dead Last (Original post)
octoberlib Jan 2013 OP
Scuba Jan 2013 #1
Dirty Socialist Jan 2013 #2
denverbill Jan 2013 #3
Comrade Grumpy Jan 2013 #4
mnhtnbb Jan 2013 #5
d_r Jan 2013 #6
muriel_volestrangler Jan 2013 #9
d_r Jan 2013 #10
Art_from_Ark Jan 2013 #16
d_r Jan 2013 #19
Sarah Ibarruri Jan 2013 #7
postulater Jan 2013 #8
SoCalDem Jan 2013 #11
octoberlib Jan 2013 #14
Wednesdays Jan 2013 #12
woo me with science Jan 2013 #13
davesliberal1977_gg Jan 2013 #15
Last Stand Jan 2013 #17
kenny blankenship Jan 2013 #18

Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:03 PM

1. USA! USA! USA!

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:06 PM

2. My conclusion

The GOP is on the wrong side of health.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:07 PM

3. Not if you go by cost. Then we are first by a mile.

And cost is the most important factor, because the higher the cost, the higher the potential profit. And profit is the point of medical care.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:09 PM

4. We need nationalized universal health care. Fuck this for-profit system.

Nationalize the medical infrastructure.

Nationalize the pharmaceutical companies.

Abolish the health insurance parasites.

Establish preventative care for all.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:12 PM

5. Thanks for posting.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:14 PM

6. I keep seeing people on the internet

saying that the US has a lower violent crime rate than countries like the UK. But this shows that the death rate from violent crime is much higher in the US. Is the difference, that we have less violent crime but it is more likely fatal?

http://sites.nationalacademies.org/DBASSE/CPOP/DBASSE_080393#violence

US is also much higher in auto fatalities

http://sites.nationalacademies.org/DBASSE/CPOP/DBASSE_080393#road-traffic-accidents

pretty high in poisoning

http://sites.nationalacademies.org/DBASSE/CPOP/DBASSE_080393#poisonings

and high in diabetes
http://sites.nationalacademies.org/DBASSE/CPOP/DBASSE_080393#diabetes-mellitus

We'd actually be pretty middle of the road in cancer
http://sites.nationalacademies.org/DBASSE/CPOP/DBASSE_080393#malignant-neoplasms

Japan is really high in stomach and liver cancer; I know alcohol has some to do with that (I'd have expected Denmark to be higher there) but I wonder what else is going on there?

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Response to d_r (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 05:54 PM

9. Yes, that's pretty much it

Assault (causing serious bodily injury) is worst, of all OECD countries, in Scotland - 1487 per 100,000 population, and 3rd worst in England and Wales (730) (the UK divides up its crime statistics). In the USA it's 262. Intentional homicide is 5.0 in the USA, 1.6 in Scotland, and 1.1 in England and Wales.

http://www.civitas.org.uk/crime/crime_stats_oecdjan2012.pdf

Mind you, according to that table, the assault rate in Poland is just 2 per 100,000 population, which I find a little unbelievable. According to the UN source table at http://www.unodc.org/documents/data-and-analysis/statistics/crime/CTS12_Assault.xls , the Polish rate dropped from between 75.9 and 77.6 from 2003-2006 to between 1.4 and 1.6 from 2007-2010, which looks like a redefinition of 'assault', to me. So it's possible there have always been differences in what counts as 'serious' between countries. At least homicide has a far clearer definition. It's also taken from reported cases - again, there may be differences between countries about how much people report assaults to police (eg if you're in a drunken fight, you might not report it).

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #9)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 06:21 PM

10. thank you

That is super helpful, thanks

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Response to d_r (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:00 PM

16. Stomach cancer and Japan

I have heard that one reason for the high rate of stomach cancer in Japan may be due to heavy ingestion of salt, especially in the northern parts of the country. Also, smoking may play a role (Japan was a smoker's paradise until recently), as may genetics, the country's high longevity, and the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which is said to infest 70% of Japanese 40 and older, and 80% of Japanese 50 and older.

http://healthlife.xrea.jp/igan/category1/entry3.html


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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #16)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 06:48 AM

19. thank you!

I was hoping it wasn't sushi

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:33 PM

7. Sad to say that this doesn't surprise me at all. nt

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 05:43 PM

8. Womb to tomb!

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 06:27 PM

11. key phrase: "if we live to age 75 we're likely to keep on living longer"

why?


MEDICARE...


We are a nation that tells people:

"If you win the age-lotto" and make it to 65, we'll help you stay alive..but until then you;re on your own, Bub".

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Response to SoCalDem (Reply #11)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 08:58 PM

14. Excellent point! nt

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 08:16 PM

12. K & R

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 08:49 PM

13. K&R

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 09:00 PM

15. this poor showing makes another strong argument for single payer

 

Sadly, at this rate, an implementation of such a system will probably take decades, thanks to the obstructionist GOP, and the corporate Democrats. Gotta love America!

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 11:11 PM

17. "Dead" last

That says it.

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Response to octoberlib (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 12:16 AM

18. Where it will STAY

While bleeding itself to death in order to pay for a fully private medicine "healthcare system", featuring insurance middle men who absorb hundreds of billions a year for doing NOTHING.

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