Navigation Links
Despite highest health spending, Americans' life expectancy falls behind other countries'
Date:10/7/2010

October 7, 2010America continues to lag behind other nations when it comes to gains in life expectancy, and commonly cited causes for our poor performanceobesity, smoking, traffic fatalities and homicideare not to blame, according to a study by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. The study looked at health spending; behavioral risk factors like obesity and smoking; and 15-year survival rates for men and women ages 45 and 65 in the U.S. and 12 other nations -- Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The Commonwealth Fund-supported study, "What Changes in Survival Rates Tell Us About U.S. Health Care, is published as a Health Affairs Web Exclusive.

While the U.S. has achieved gains in 15-year survival rates decade by decade between 1975 and 2005, the researchers discovered that other countries have experienced even greater gains, leading the U.S. to slip in country ranking, even as per capita health care spending in the U.S. increased at more than twice the rate of the comparison countries. Fifteen-year survival rates for men and women ages 45 and 65 in the U.S. have fallen relative to the other 12 countries over the past 30 years. Forty-five year old U.S. white women fared the worstby 2005 their 15-year survival rates were lower than that of all the other countries. Moreover, the survival rates of this group in 2005 had not even surpassed the 1975 15-year survival rates for Swiss, Swedish, Dutch or Japanese women. The U.S. ranking for 15-year life expectancy for 45-year-old men also declined, falling from 3rd in 1975 to 12th in 2005.

When the researchers compared risk factors among the 13 countries, they found very little difference in smoking habits between the U.S. and the comparison countriesin fact, the U.S. had faster declines in smoking between 1975 and 2005 than almost all of the other countries. In terms of obesity, researchers found that, while people in the U.S. are more likely to be obese, this was also the case in 1975, when the U.S. was not so far behind in life expectancy. In fact, even as the comparison countries pulled ahead of the U.S. in terms of survival, the percentage of obese men and women actually grew faster in most of those countries between 1975 and 2005. Finally, examining homicide and traffic fatalities, the researchers found that they have accounted for a stable share of U.S. deaths over time, and would not account for the significant change in 15-year life expectancy the study identified.

The researchers say that the failure of the U.S. to make greater gains in survival rates with its greater spending on health care may be attributable to flaws in the overall health care system. Specifically, they point to the role of unregulated fee-for-service payments and our reliance on specialty care as possible drivers of high spending without commensurate gains in life expectancy.

"It was shocking to see the U.S. falling behind other countries even as costs soared ahead of them," said lead author Peter Muennig, MD, MPH, assistant professor of Health Policy and Management at the Mailman School of Public Health. "But what really surprised us was that all of the usual suspectssmoking, obesity, traffic accidents, homicides, and racial and ethnic diversity are not the culprits. The U.S. doesn't stand out as doing any worse in these areas than any of the other countries we studied, leading us to believe that failings in the U.S. health care system, such as costly specialized and fragmented care, are likely playing a large role in this relatively poor performance on improvements in life expectancy."

"This study provides stark evidence that the U.S. health care system has been failing Americans for years," said Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis. "It is unacceptable that the U.S. obtains so much less than should be expected from its unusually high spending on health care relative to other countries." The good news is that the Affordable Care Act will take significant steps to improve our health care system and the health of Americans by expanding health insurance, improving primary care, and holding health care organizations accountable for their patients' overall health and ensuring the coordination of primary care and specialty care to eliminate errors, waste of patients' time, and wasteful duplication of tests and services."


'/>"/>

Contact: Stephanie Berger
sb2247@columbia.edu
212-305-4372
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Surf Sweets Among Few Candy Offerings Free of Synthetic Dyes Despite Growing Consumer Concern Over Affect on Children
2. Summer...Despite All the Fun it Can be a Headache How to Enjoy Your Summer Fun without the Aggravation of a Headache Seasonal Headache Relief Tips from Leading Neurolog
3. Summer...Despite All The Fun It Can Be A Headache
4. Despite food-assistance programs, many children experience food insecurity, hunger
5. Long-term use of anti-anxiety drugs continues in B.C. despite known health risks: UBC study
6. Lung disease may be genetic, despite lack of family history
7. A Tan Is Still Admired, Despite Risks
8. Despite tests, high blood pressure hard to recognize in children
9. Complex Spinal Operations Soar Despite Drawbacks
10. Despite much-higher poverty rates, rural Oregonians use less public assistance
11. Exploitation of Overseas Nannies and Caregivers Could Continue Despite New Canadian Immigration Laws
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Today, the Whole-Food Warrior TV show, ... much-anticipated feature with author Jahnavi Foster, specialist in healthy vegetarian cuisine, will stream on ... week, on his weekly Whole-Food Warrior TV show, Frank Davis highlights Whole-Food Warriors - ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... The event is being held on ... Center in Minneapolis, Minn. Triumph Over Parkinson’s will fund nearly $100,000 for research for ... Furniture, lives with Parkinson’s disease and is the architect of this informative event to ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... Francisco Canales, ... services in their Napa Valley office. The technique utilizes the body’s own healing ... Canales and Dr. Furnas, are part of only a select few cosmetic surgeons ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... February 05, 2016 , ... ... George H. Van Allen have signed a joint enrollment and degree completion agreement. ... pathway toward associate and baccalaureate degrees at FHU|Dickson. , The agreement allows ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF) – the ... the lymphoma community through a comprehensive series of education programs, outreach initiatives and ... Event at the La Gorce Country Club in Miami Beach on March 15, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/5/2016)... February 5, 2016 --> ... report states that the global active pharmaceuticals ingredients (APIs) ... predicted to reach US$185.9 bn by 2020. It is ... 2014 to 2020. The title of the report is ... by Geography, and by Therapeutic Area) - Global Industry ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... -- Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE and SIX: ZBH) today ... offering of 11,027,558 shares of its common stock by ... and Goldman Sachs.  The shares are being sold to ... share. The selling stockholders will receive all of the ... of its directors, officers or other stockholders is selling ...
(Date:2/5/2016)... -- Henry Schein, Inc. (NASDAQ: HSIC ), the world,s largest ... dental, animal health and medical practitioners, announced today that ... majority ownership interest in Dental Cremer S.A., a distributor ... . --> ... dental distribution business of Cremer S.A. With 2015 sales ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: