US Lags in Preventing Early Death

Obesity, smoking blamed as US falls behind in death rate before 60
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 30, 2010 5:00 AM CDT
US Lags in Preventing Early Death
This man's unlikely to be helping the US improve its mortality statistics.   (Shutter Stock)

America is lagging far behind other countries in preventing premature death among adults and now ranks behind Chile, Tunisia, and Peru, warn the authors of a new study. The researchers analyzed data on deaths before age 60 and found that over the last 20 years, the US has tumbled from 34th in female mortality and 41st in male to 49th for women and 45th for men, Reuters reports. Icelandic men and Cypriot women are the most likely to see their 60th birthdays.

"The US is definitely on the wrong trajectory," one of the study's authors says, blaming obesity, smoking, cholesterol, and a flawed health care system. "I think that our primary care system is not effectively managing things like blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar," he told MedPage Today. "So even though we spend a lot of money, we don't seem to be spending it in the areas that really generate a lot of health." (More longevity stories.)

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