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Mr. Big Dog

The American Way of Life: Dying Early

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Why Americans are dying earlier than their international peers

By Jacque Wilson, CNN

(CNN) -- Despite spending more per person on health care than any other country, Americans are getting sicker and dying younger than our international peers -- a problem persisting across all ages and both genders, according to a new report.

In 2011, the National Research Council found life expectancy in the United States was increasing at a slower rate than in other high-income democracies. Shortly after, the NRC and Institute Of Medicine convened a panel of experts to investigate why.

The panel was given 18 months to review recent health studies from 16 "peer countries": Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

The panel released its report, titled "U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health," on Wednesday.

"Our panel was unprepared for the gravity of the finding we uncovered," chair Steven Woolf wrote in the report's preface. "We hope that others will take notice."

Lagging behind

This is not a new problem, Woolf noted on a conference call about the report. "It's been going on since 1980 and it's getting progressively worse."

Data from 2007 show Americans' life expectancy is 3.7 years shorter for men and 5.2 years shorter for women than in the leading nations -- Switzerland for men and Japan for women.

As of 2011, 27 countries had higher life expectancies at birth than the United States.

"The tragedy is not that the United States is losing a contest with other countries," the report states, "but that Americans are dying and suffering from illness and injury at rates that are demonstrably unnecessary."

America does rank well in some health measures, according to the panel. The United States has higher cancer survival rates, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and lower smoking prevalence rates than many of its peer countries. Those Americans who make it to age 75 will survive longer than their peers in the comparison countries.

Global report: Obesity bigger health crisis than hunger

But that's where the good news stops. The report outlines nine health areas where the United States lags behind other rich nations, including infant mortality, homicides, teen pregnancy, drug-related deaths, obesity and disabilities.

Americans have the highest prevalence of AIDS in the group. Seniors are at a greater risk of developing and dying from heart disease. And our children are less likely than children in peer countries to reach their fifth birthday.

"Many of these conditions have a particularly profound effect on young people, reducing the odds that Americans will live to age 50," the report states. "And for those who reach age 50, these conditions contribute to poorer health and greater illness later in life."

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As long as we got guns the american way of life is good.:blink:

That was also on my mind. With guns to protect one's life and the best health care system in the world, why are Americans not living longer?


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That was also on my mind. With guns to protect one's life and the best health care system in the world, why are Americans not living longer?

Stress kills and there is a lot of stress involved in keeping guns and dealing with health care bills. Plus the commies are taking over too.


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They are storing fat waiting for armegeddon.

:rofl:

Cool, I'm going to scarf down a box of Twinkies in preparation. Ohh wait, the commie unions took away my Twinkies.


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We have Rice Krispie treats in our vending machine. And the coffee shop has chocolate croissants, cheese danishes and ham (and turkey) egg & cheese sandwiches. Who wants some?

Edited by ^_^

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[quote name=^_^' timestamp='1357830959' post='5914105]

We have Rice Krispie treats in our vending machine. And the coffee shop has chocolate croissants, cheese danishes and ham (and turkey) egg & cheese sandwiches. Who wants some?

We have all that as well. I think management is trying to kill off their employees earlier to get out of paying pensions. :yes: People should really be for smoking and obesity. It would go along way to keep Social Security solvent.


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We have all that as well. I think management is trying to kill off their employees earlier to get out of paying pensions. :yes: People should really be for smoking and obesity. It would go along way to keep Social Security solvent.

Ha, my employer only has defined benefit pensions for employees who joined a million years ago (that's my way of saying the cutoff was before I joined and I don't care enough to get a precise date for this conversation). Those same employees also get medical insurance (retiree only, no spouse or children but fully paid by the company, zero premiums) for life. I can see why they'd want to kill them all.

Not that it matters... none of them seem to want to retire. My section of the floor is swimming in geezers who could retire today. A few years ago I thought they were waiting for a bull market so their 401K's picked up in value. Today? I'm no longer sure what keeps them here other than the thought of spending all day at home with their wives.

Edited by ^_^

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[quote name=^_^' timestamp='1357831453' post='5914122]

Ha, my employer only has defined benefit pensions for employees who joined a million years ago (that's my way of saying the cutoff was before I joined and I don't care enough to get a precise date for this conversation). Those same employees also get medical insurance (retiree only, no spouse or children but fully paid by the company, zero premiums) for life. I can see why they'd want to kill them all.

Not that it matters... none of them seem to want to retire. My section of the floor is swimming in geezers who could retire today. A few years ago I thought they were waiting for a bull market so their 401K's picked up in value. Today? I'm no longer sure what keeps them here other than the thought of spending all day at home with their wives.

Hey! I wont be able to afford to retire for a longtime either. Its the new way of life. Work till ya drop or sleep in a box in an alley. Unless I can get rid of my ex-wife first :whistle:


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I'm still amused by those that think people living longer is a good thing.

It's actually very bad for the overall health of a society. Economically speaking anyway.


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I'm still amused by those that think people living longer is a good thing.

It's actually very bad for the overall health of a society. Economically speaking anyway.

Oh!. So what should the cut off age be?


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Oh!. So what should the cut off age be?

No cutoff age necessary, but we'd all be better off if your average retiree didn't live for 30 years after becoming social security and medicare eligible. If that average came down to 10 or 15, we'd all be better off.

Put another way, the U.S. would benefit from worse healthcare.

Edited by ^_^

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