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Life expectancy higher in Israel than in US, according to Ben-Gurion U. researcher
Date:10/13/2010

BEER-SHEVA, ISRAEL, October 13, 2010 A new study conducted by a researcher at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) for Jerusalem's Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel reports that Israeli's have a higher life expectancy on average than Americans and residents of other OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries.

According to the most recent data, from 2005, the average American life expectancy is now 78 years; for Israeli Jews, approximately 81 years and Israeli Arabs, 79 years. Japan has the highest life expectancy of OECD countries averaging 82 years.

Professor Dov Chernichovsky, a BGU lecturer and a health economist for the Taub Center, also revealed that while Israeli Arabs still lag behind Israelis due in part to cultural, social and educational issues they still live noticeably longer on average than Americans.

The UN Human Development Index uses life expectancy at birth as the accepted overall measure of national health and the public health indicator. In 1980, the life expectancy for Israeli Jews, Americans and residents of the other developed countries was almost identical, at approximately 74 years; but Israeli Arabs were two years less, or 72.

"Since then, the increase in Israeli life expectancy has far outpaced those of other countries," Chernichovsky explains. "Life expectancy in the U.S. grew by four years since 1980, and in the rest of the OECD it grew by six years. But for Israelis, both Jews and Arabs, the gain was more than seven years."

According to Chernichovsky, "The national health system and other medical improvements have been notably successful in improving outcomes for all Israeli residents both in absolute and relative terms compared to other developed countries and in narrowing the gaps within Israel." He has conducted a number of studies examining the U.S. healthcare delivery system in comparison with other countries.

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Contact: Andrew Lavin
andrewlavin@alavin.com
516-353-2505
American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Source:Eurekalert

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