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Americans Have Worse Health Than English Peers, Study Finds
Date:3/9/2011

By Jenifer Goodwin
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- From birth through old age, Americans have poorer health than their British counterparts, a new study finds.

Researchers used data on nearly 40,000 residents of the United States and 70,000 residents of England taken from nationally representative health surveys of the respective countries.

After all the numbers were crunched, Americans had higher rates of nearly all chronic diseases and markers of diseases than people of a similar age in England.

Those diseases and signs of poor health included: obesity, low HDL (good) cholesterol, high overall cholesterol, high C-reactive protein (a sign of inflammation), diabetes and asthma.

American women had significantly higher rates of high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack or angina than English women of a similar age. For males, heart attack or angina is higher in the United States only at younger ages. High blood pressure is the one measure that was higher in England than in the United States at young ages among males.

Taken together, the worse health of Americans by nearly every measure should be a wake-up call for the public and policymakers, said study author Melissa Martinson, a postdoctoral research associate in the Office of Population Research at Princeton University.

"Across most of these markers of health, Americans fare worse than the English, and the health differences are just as large at very young ages as they are later in life," Martinson said.

And the findings held true even when researchers took into account income level and broke out their sample into groups including only whites, the insured, the non-obese, non-smokers, non-drinkers and the affluent.

In other words, not only were the American poor worse off than the English poor, the affluent in the United States were worse off than the affluent in England.

Likewise, the obese in Engla
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