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Adjutant
 
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Post 23 Sep 2020, 2:06 pm

I found this study/report comparing life expectancies between the US and other OECD countries to be interesting. Weve been falling behind other rich, western countries since 1980 in life expectancy (not, in my mind, coincidentally the same time Ronald Reagan was elected and the country moved to the right economically and wealth went more to the top few %). But it's interesting to look at tables 6 and 7 which compare mortality rates of men and women in the US with selected other OECD countries since 1960. It's interesting that over a long period of time we do worse at age 55 and age 65 but start to do better after that ( there is a counter recent trend for women at age 75 recently but that may be due to smoking deaths). They conjectured a lot of different reasons but the most obvious one is work in the US is more of a burden on health than in other wealthy OECD countries. Once we retire in the US we're fine. Actually, we do very well comparatively speaking. Work literally kills us.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK6 ... po=59.3458
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Dignitary
 
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Post 24 Sep 2020, 6:33 am

freeman3 wrote: Work literally kills us.


Sounds right to me.
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Statesman
 
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Post 24 Sep 2020, 12:17 pm

One thing to consider is that everyone in the US qualifies for Medicare at 65 no? Whereas in other OECD countries people have that from birth.
What that means is that Americans with no insurance, or poor insurance, finally start to access health care without regard to cost - in the same way everyone else does throughout their life- only at 65.....
Meaning people seek care when a problem arises, rather than waiting and hoping to avoid cost.

Other small matter to consider regarding later years trends ... is that the US has a reputation for being very very aggressive about cancer treatment, sparing no cost (since its profitable to do so) in order to produce a few months of additional life. Other nations may be less aggressive, focusing on quality of remaining time - as there is no motive to create additional medical billings.

After the first year of life, health care costs are lowest for children, rise slowly throughout adult life, and increase exponentially after age 50 (Meerding et al. 1998). Bradford and Max (1996) determined that annual costs for the elderly are approximately four to five times those of people in their early teens. Personal health expenditure also rises sharply with age within the Medicare population. The oldest group (85+) consumes three times as much health care per person as those 65–74, and twice as much as those 75–84


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1361028/
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Post 25 Sep 2020, 6:47 am

rickyp wrote:What that means is that Americans with no insurance, or poor insurance, finally start to access health care without regard to cost - in the same way everyone else does throughout their life- only at 65.....
Meaning people seek care when a problem arises, rather than waiting and hoping to avoid cost.


That also sounds right to me.
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Post 25 Sep 2020, 11:30 am

That does make sense.

However, the survey references studies that Americans at least in late middle age have a lot more disease burden than in other countries. And that cuts across socio-economic boundaries.

"International comparisons of various measures of self-reported health and biological markers of disease reveal similar patterns of U.S. disadvantage. In 2006, Banks and colleagues reported that the U.S. population of late middle age was considerably less healthy than the equivalent English population. For every disease the authors studied, Americans across the socioeconomic distribution reported a higher disease burden: approximately 30 percent higher prevalence for lung disease and myocardial infarction, 60 percent higher for all heart disease and stroke, and 100 percent higher for diabetes (Banks et al., 2006). Furthermore, the design of the study strongly suggested that the American health disadvantage could not be explained simply by reference to problems associated with an inefficient health care system, the lack of universal health care coverage, or large racial and socioeconomic disparities in the United States."

Something about the nature of American society causes us to be sicker. I suppose diet could be a contributing factor but then how is it that older Americans fare better? I suppose those with poorer diets could get weeded out at older ages.

But my guess is stress from traffic, lack of vacation, difficulty in getting child care, living on the edge of financial ruin, our hyper-competitive society and a weak safety net just make us sicker. At least when you hit 65 you dont have to deal with traffic, you get social security, no stress from work, youre past the stress of raising kids, and you dont have to worry about health care.

What I would like to hear from politicians is how theyre going to make our lives better by making improvements in those areas listed above.
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Post 25 Sep 2020, 2:12 pm

About 1/4 of American workers don't get paid sick leave, and the rest are probably facing a stingier benefit than other OECD citizens. Thats got to exacerbate things.

https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2 ... hich-dont/

So the stress of having to make it in the US seems to be a lot greater. And stress kills. Could you also add stresses like a higher crime rate, and for visible minorities, greater daily stress dealing with systemic racism? Plus more violent crime leading to deaths and injuries?
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Post 25 Sep 2020, 5:46 pm

You could.