US below average on most health measures
Americans are below average on most measures of health from obesity to infant mortality when compared with other rich countries, and they’re falling behind on lifespan, too, according to the latest survey.
The annual survey from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has been used for years to show that the U.S. spends far more than any other comparable country on health care, yet gets far less for its money — and the latest survey is no different.
Americans are fatter, die younger and don’t get particularly good treatment for many diseases, with the exception of strokes and cancer.
The OECD survey compares the 34 member countries to one another on a range of measures, from lifespan and spending on drugs to infant mortality. It shows the health of Americans is worsening even as other countries improve things for their citizens.
“While life expectancy in the United States used to be one year above the OECD average in 1970, it is now more than one year below the average,” the report reads. The U.S. ranks at 26th in life expectancy out of 34 OECD countries.
America falls below the OECD average, which is 80 years.
The U.S. life expectancy for someone born in 2011 is just 78.7 years, right behind Denmark and just above Chile. A Swiss, Japanese or Italian newborn can expect to live to be nearly 83.