News / USA

Americans Die Sooner than Others in Industrialized Countries

Study also finds disparities within the US itself

Life expectancy for women by US county, 2007. Red and orange
show life expectancy less than 78.5 years. Darker blues indicate life
expectancy 81 and higher.
Life expectancy for women by US county, 2007. Red and orange show life expectancy less than 78.5 years. Darker blues indicate life expectancy 81 and higher.

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +
Art Chimes

A new analysis of life expectancy around the world finds Americans are lagging behind other industrialized countries, and also identifies vast disparities within the United States itself.

Life expectancy for American men was about 75.5 years in 2007, the most recent year reported. That put the U.S. in 37th place, behind Australia, Japan, Canada and many European countries. American women fare better, with a life expectancy of almost 81 years. But the global ranking has steadily fallen over two decades, putting U.S. female life expectancy also in 37th place among almost 200 countries and territories.

Ali Mokdad is a professor at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation of the University of Washington, which compiled the life expectancy data. He says increases in life expectancy have lagged in the United States compared with other countries.

"We've seen an improvement almost everywhere in the world, and in countries that are developed, we're seeing a higher improvement, a faster improvement rate, than we are seeing in the United States."

Mokdad says the reason is that America has made less progress in reducing risk factors that can shorten life, such as obesity and high blood pressure.

The report highlights substantial disparities within the United States, too.

Color-coded maps show life expectancy in each of the nation’s 3,000-plus counties. Red and orange signify the shortest projected life span and those colors cluster together in the South.

That's the region where lower socioeconomic status and high rates of health risk factors; plus more limited access to quality medical care all contribute to shorter lifespans.

"Less education, less income in some of these rural counties, more likely to be smokers, more likely to be obese," Mokdad says. "They don't have health insurance or they don't have adequate access to health care, and the quality of medical care is not as good as well."

In the United States, many public health responsibilities are local, not national. Some communities restrict smoking in the workplace. Some have bicycle paths. Some organize farmers markets.

"So programs like this are efficient. They work. They change the environment. And this is a long-term investment, like you build a school, you're going to see the impact of that school 20 years down the road. The same for public health: a long-term investment in their community to increase physical activity and improve diet are needed in this country."

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid