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AP: US Slipping In Life Expectancy Ranking

From a delighted Associated Press:

US slipping in life expectancy rankings

By STEPHEN OHLEMACHER, Associated Press Writer Sun Aug 12

WASHINGTON – Americans are living longer than ever, but not as long as people in 41 other countries.

For decades, the United States has been slipping in international rankings of life expectancy, as other countries improve health care, nutrition and lifestyles.

Countries that surpass the U.S. include Japan and most of Europe, as well as Jordan, Guam and the Cayman Islands.

Something’s wrong here when one of the richest countries in the world, the one that spends the most on health care, is not able to keep up with other countries,” said Dr. Christopher Murray, head of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

A baby born in the United States in 2004 will live an average of 77.9 years. That life expectancy ranks 42nd, down from 11th two decades earlier, according to international numbers provided by the Census Bureau and domestic numbers from the National Center for Health Statistics…

Andorra, a tiny country in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain, had the longest life expectancy, at 83.5 years, according to the Census Bureau. It was followed by Japan, Macau, San Marino and Singapore.

Researchers said several factors have contributed to the United States falling behind other industrialized nations. A major one is that 45 million Americans lack health insurance, while Canada and many European countries have universal health care, they say…

Among the other factors:

• Adults in the United States have one of the highest obesity rates in the world. Nearly a third of U.S. adults 20 years and older are obese, while about two-thirds are overweight, according to the National Center for Health Statistics…

• Racial disparities. Black Americans have an average life expectancy of 73.3 years, five years shorter than white Americans…

• A relatively high percentage of babies born in the U.S. die before their first birthday, compared with other industrialized nations.

Forty countries, including Cuba, Taiwan and most of Europe had lower infant mortality rates than the U.S. in 2004

Murray, from the University of Washington, said improved access to health insurance could increase life expectancy. But, he predicted, the U.S. won’t move up in the world rankings as long as the health care debate is limited to insurance.

Policymakers also should focus on ways to reduce cancer, heart disease and lung disease, said Murray. He advocates stepped-up efforts to reduce tobacco use, control blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and regulate blood sugar.

“Even if we focused only on those four things, we would go along way toward improving health care in the United States,” Murray said. “The starting point is the recognition that the U.S. does not have the best health care system. There are still an awful lot of people who think it does.”

So we aren’t just no longer the tallest nation on earth, but we are not even among the longest lived.

You would think both of these would be counted as good things by the global warming crowd. But no.

And how our watchdog media lap up stories like this, especially since it gives them yet another opportunity to plump for their agenda: free universal health care, more government benefits for minorities, and more government control of our lives.

Oh, and we once again get to hear how much better Cuba is doing than us. (Sure it is.)

And on top of that they get to chide us being too fat. 

Never mind that these figures, just like those about our national stature, have been obviously skewed by the invasion arrival of so many of our short and short-lived neighbors from the south.

We must never mention that.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, August 12th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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