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Sunday, February 14, 2016

Mystery Babylon: Violence, Drugs and Disease - US life expectancy lowest among industrialized countries

Drugs, Car Crashes, Shootings Contribute to Shorter US Life Expectancy
U.S. life expectancy is about two years shorter than that of similar countries, cut short by drugs, violence, and car crashes, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The life expectancy for U.S. men is 76.4 years, compared to 78.6 years for men in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, HealthDay reported. U.S. women can expect to live 81.2 years compared to 83.4 years for women in those other countries.

About 50 percent of the gap for men and 20 percent of the gap for women is due to three factors: car crashes, shootings, and drug overdoses, according to lead researcher Andrew Fenelon, a senior service fellow at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.
Guns, car crashes and drugs cut US male life expectancy by a year, research says | US news | The Guardian
Gun injuries, car crashes and drug poisoning account for more than one year of shortened life expectancy in American men compared with men in other high-income countries, according to Centers for Disease Control research .
An American man’s life expectancy is cut five months and 14 days shorter because of gun injuries compared with men in 12 other countries, said the research letter, published on Tuesday in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (Jama).
Researchers have known that life expectancy in the US is lower than it is in other high-income countries, but the new letter shows that these three types of injuries have a substantial impact on life expectancy in the US.
“I was surprised by the sheer magnitude of the impact of firearm deaths, that they’re only 1%-2% of deaths in the US but responsible for 20% of the gap in life expectancy between the US and other countries in men,” said Andrew Fenelon, the lead author of the letter.
Life span gap continues to widen between rich and poor | Dallas Morning News
Experts have long known that rich people generally live longer than poor people. But a growing body of data shows a more disturbing pattern: Despite big advances in medicine, technology and education, the longevity gap between rich and poor Americans has been widening sharply.
The poor are losing ground not only in income, but also in increasing how long they live, the most basic measure of well-being.

In the early 1970s, a 60-year-old man in the top half of the earnings ladder could expect to live 1.2 years longer than a man of the same age in the bottom half, according to an analysis by the Social Security Administration. In 2001, he could expect to live 5.8 years longer.
Research released Friday contains even more jarring numbers. Looking at the extreme ends of the income spectrum, economists at the Brookings Institution found that for men born in 1920, there was a six-year difference in life expectancy between the top 10 percent of earners and the bottom 10 percent. For men born in 1950, that difference had more than doubled, to 14 years.
For women, the gap grew to 13 years from 4.7 years.

The stunning — and expanding — gap in life expectancy between the rich and the poor - The Washington Post
Wealthy and middle-class baby boomers can expect to live substantially longer than their parents' generation. Meanwhile, life expectancy for the poor hasn't increased and may even be declining, according to a report published Thursday by several leading economists.
Call it a growing inequality of death — and it means that the poor ultimately may collect less in money from some of the government's safety net programs than the rich.
As of 2010, the average, upper-income 50-year-old man was expected to live to 89. But the same man, if he's lower income, would live to just 76, according to the report.
U.S. Women Last In Life Expectancy Among Wealthy Countries, Thanks To Growing Inequality
Although life expectancy continues to slowly rise in the United States, the truth is that we still lag behind peer nations when it comes to longevity and well-being in old age. That's the message from a panel held on January 21 at The Forum, a webcast series on public health that's a collaboration between The Huffington Post and the Harvard School of Public Health.
"We now rank at the bottom of OECD countries. This wasn't true 30 years ago, it wasn't true 50 years ago," said Lisa Berkman, professor of public policy and of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. "What's happened is that every other country has improved substantially and we've improved a tiny bit. So life expectancy in the U.S. has improved over time, but it's improved so much less than all other countries that we're now left behind."
The cause of this lag in our improvement? Growing inequality, Berkman revealed during the panel. And the longevity of women has been most affected.

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