Based on findings presented in a report titled U.S. Health in International Perspectives: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health, Americans have a higher chance of dying from all causes than people living in 16 other developed nations. Further, the United States ranked 2nd to last when focusing just on deaths from noncommunicable disease, which includes ailments like diabetes mellitus, endocrine disorders, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, and digestive diseases, to name a few.
America is Lagging Behind as the Sick Nation
Despite spending more on healthcare than any other nation, America is being outranked by every other compared nation when it comes to health. The report shows how The U.S. ranks in the following four categories:
Check out the integrative chart here for more in-depth reports:
And this isn’t the first report to come up with these findings. In June, 2011, researchers from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington and Imperial College London found that 80% of U.S. counties have dipped below the average life expectancy of the top 10 nations globally.
The authors wrote:
“When compared to the international frontier for life expectancy, US counties range from being 16 calendar years ahead to more than 50 behind for women. For men the range is from 15 calendar years ahead to more than 50 calendar years behind. This means that some counties have a life expectancy today that nations with the best health outcomes had in 1957.”
Additionally, a 2011 report found that even while life expectancy of American’s is rising (even if that means being hooked up to a hospital bed for the last years of one’s life), the U.S. is still rank 50.
Why is the U.S. so behind on health? The chair of the panel that wrote the first report mentioned, Steven H. Woolf, a professor of family medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, said:
“We were struck by the gravity of these findings. Americans are dying and suffering at rates that we know are unnecessary because people in other high-income countries are living longer lives and enjoying better health. What concerns our panel is why, for decades, we have been slipping behind.”
While Woolf and others don’t seem to know why Americans are sick, the answers are a bit obvious to some of us.
Why Americans are so Sick and Die Sooner
The answer as to why Americans are so sick could easily fill up an entire book, but it really boils down to a few basic truths. Here are just a few things ruining the health of the nation.