Study asks: Are Americans unhealthier than people in other countries?

Washington – Americans tend to die earlier and suffer more diseases and injuries than people in other high-income countries such as Australia, Canada and Japan, concludes a report from the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine, both of the National Academies.

Issued in January, the report evaluated the United States in various health categories. America ranked at or near the bottom in infant mortality and low birth weight; injuries and homicides; teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections; HIV and AIDS prevalence; drug-related deaths; obesity and diabetes; heart disease; chronic lung disease; and disability, according to an IOM press release.

Root causes identified include unhealthy behaviors such as eating high-calorie foods, high rates of poverty and inadequate education of young people. Health disadvantages were present from birth to senior years and affected people across all economic backgrounds. However, America fared better with regard to people older than 75 – they lived longer and had lower death rates than their peers in other countries.

Post a comment to this article

Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy. (Anonymous comments are welcome; merely skip the “name” field in the comment box. An email address is required but will not be included with your comment.)