Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Robert Krulwich: Americans Fall Behind in the Getting Older Race

With a hat tip to Professor Laurel Terry for sharing this NPR-linked post from Robert Krulwich, check out stats on how American men and woman compare to those in other developed countries in terms of "surviving" to old age.   Here's an excerpt, commenting on the trend:

"In 2011, the National Institutes of Health issued a report that tried to make sense of it all. Right away, they found our weak spot. 'U.S. women have relatively high mortality rates at the younger older ages,' they said, which means when women hit their 55th birthdays, for the next almost 20 years, roughly 55 to 75, they will die more often than women in comparable countries. Americans get more lung disease, more heart disease, more diabetes. If Americans reach 75, they get competitive again, but that early old age is where we lose ground. American men showed pretty much the same weakness at roughly the same times.


The authors declared themselves puzzled. 'The relatively poor performance of the United States," they wrote, is "perhaps all the more surprising in light of the fact that the United States spends far more on health care than any other nation in the world, both absolutely and as a percentage of gross national product.'


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