CHARTS: The US Is Super Unhealthy Compared To Wealthy Peer Countries

Americans may be living longer, but not compared to other rich countries.

According to a new report from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington that was just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, America has one of the shortest lifespans out of the 34 countries in the organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Researchers broke down death, disease, and disability data by country based on population health surveys dating between 1990-2010.

And the only OECD countries that performed worse than the US in average lifespan were the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia.

mean age at death by country

America also ranked significantly lower than the OECD average when it came to age-standardized risk rates for premature mortality, particularly for obesity, tobacco use, and drug use:

chart by country's risk rates for early mortality

Researchers chocked the differences up to the US perspective on health education and policy. The study suggests in its conclusion that for the US to catch up with peer countries, we should incentivise changes in diet and behaviour, as well as improve the effectiveness of primary health care and research.

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