Study compares U.S. lifespan, health status with 16 other countries

AHA News Now

On average, Americans die sooner and experience higher rates of disease and injury than people in 16 other high-income countries, according to a report released today by the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine. Specifically, the U.S. fared worse on average in the areas of infant mortality and low birth weight; injuries and homicides; teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections; prevalence of HIV and AIDS; drug-related deaths; obesity and diabetes; heart disease; chronic lung disease; and disability. However, the study also found that U.S. residents over age 75 live longer, and that Americans have lower death rates from stroke and cancer, better control of blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and lower rates of smoking. The report recommends an intensified effort to pursue established national health objectives; data collection and research to better understand the causes of these health differences and potential solutions; and outreach to inform the public and stimulate national discussion about the study's policy, practice and research implications.

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