Lagging U.S. Life Expectancy Blamed on Health System–Scientific Research Showing That Smoking, Obesity, Traffic Accidents
Posted Oct 10 2010 1:42am
The study was conducted by scientists at the Commonwealth Fund in Washington DC and granted we are all trying to live healthier within what we can afford in healthcare so maybe the word “afford” has some emphasis here? The fact that we have a higher rate of more people stopping smoking didn’t make an impact either.
Perhaps there has been too much emphasis on meeting those algorithmic goals with too much pressure and not enough time to live life without additional stress too as dealing with all these complicated formulas does wear on everyone. If consumes were able to get care without all the mathematics of trying to figure out what care they can get, it would lessen some of the stress we have today. The US used to be in the #5 slot and had now dropped to #22. When comparing risk factors the study also said the percentage of obese people actually grew faster in most of the other countries compared between 1975 and 2005. The age groups studied were between 45 to 65.
These are the feelings and conclusions of the scientists at the Commonwealth Fund, but this week stocks are up so this somewhat conveys a message that we are focusing more on money and bonds than the humans it seems as unemployment and jobs keep decreasing with technology changes and cut backs to run lean. BD
From the website:
“The Commonwealth Fund, among the first private foundations started by a woman philanthropist—Anna M. Harkness—was established in 1918 with the broad charge to enhance the common good.
The mission of The Commonwealth Fund is to promote a high performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society's most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children, and elderly adults.
The Fund carries out this mandate by supporting independent research on health care issues and making grants to improve health care practice and policy. An international program in health policy is designed to stimulate innovative policies and practices in the United States and other industrialized countries.”
The United States is falling sharply behind in worldwide rankings of life expectancy, and shortcomings in the U.S. health care system may be to blame, scientists say. Researchers studying the issue concluded that obesity, smoking, traffic accidents and homicide can’t account for the drop—“leading us to believe that failings in the U.S. health care system, such as costly specialized and fragmented care, are likely playing a large role,” said Peter Muennig of Columbia University, lead author of the study. In the research, which appears in the Oct. 7 online issue of the journal Health Affairs, Muennig and co-author Sherry Glied of Columbia cite the growing lack of health insurance among Americans as a possible culprit.
Muennig and Glied found similar trends in the 13 countries that they studied, though they only examined 15-year survival rates for people at age 45 and 65. When they compared risk factors, they found very little difference in smoking habits between the U.S. and the comparison countries—in fact, U.S. smoking rates declined more quickly than most other countries.
Moreover, they said, the percentage of obese people actually grew faster in most of the other countries between 1975 and 2005.
“It was shocking to see the U.S. falling behind other countries even as costs soared ahead of them,” said Muennig. “But what really surprised us was that all of the usual suspects—smoking, obesity, traffic accidents, and homicides—are not the culprits.”