Monday, August 13, 2007

U.S. Life Expectancy 42nd In World

For decades, the United States has been slipping in international rankings of life expectancy, as other countries improve health care, nutrition and lifestyles. Statistics recently released in the New England Journal of Medicine say that this nation has slipped to 42nd place in the world.

For decades, the U. S. has been slipping in international rankings of life expectancy, as other countries improve health care, nutrition and lifestyles. Countries that surpassed the U.S. include Japan and most of Europe, as well as Jordan, Guam and the Cayman Islands.

A baby born in the United States in 2004 will live an average of 77.9 years. That life expectancy ranks 42nd, down from 11th two decades earlier, according to international numbers provided by the Census Bureau and domestic numbers from the National Center for Health Statistics.

The countries with the longest life expectancy are Andorra, a tiny country in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain, had the longest life expectancy, at 83.5 years, according to the Census Bureau. It was followed by Japan, Maucau, San Marino and Singapore.

Countries with the shortest life expectancies are clustered in Sub-Saharan Africa, a region that has been hit hard by an epidemic of HIV and AIDS, as well as famine and civil strife. Swaziland has the shortest, at 34.1 years, followed by Zambia, Angola, Liberia and Zimbabwe.

Now, here are some of the reasons for the slip:

-Adults in the United States have one of the highest obesity rates in the world. Nearly a third of U.S. adults 20 years and older are obese, while about two-thirds are overweight, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

-“The U.S. has the resources that allow people to get fat and lazy,” said Paul Terry, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Emory University in Atlanta. “We have the luxury of choosing a bad lifestyle as opposed to having one imposed on us by hard times.”

-Racial disparities. Black Americans have an average life expectancy of 73.3 years, five years shorter than white Americans.

-Black American males have a life expectancy of 69.8 years, slightly longer than the averages for Iran and Syria and slightly shorter than in Nicaragua and Morocco.

-A relatively high percentage of babies born in the U.S. die before their first birthday, compared with other industrialized nations

“Something’s wrong here when one of the richest countries in the world, the one that spends the most on health care, is not able to keep up with other countries,” said Dr. Christopher Murray, head of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. I think we can all agree with the doctor. To find out more at:

Research info provided by:

Here's a poem you can live with:

Otherwise, Fine

A large stadium empties.
Her head cooling against the car glass. Pansies.
What's your favorite. A dragonfly for good luck.
Want an onion. "Stop averting your eyes from
the road", she repeats. Moonlight as a hero villain.
Pull in at the next Quick-Rite I want to buy some

the ruby progression of taillights
one endlessly paved forever

God Maxine. So you're fluent in lizard too.
We pass the jug between ourselves.

(he's my missing Pa)
At one time this whole area was
a bird sanctuary...

(meanwhile cars continue in a persistent
flow along Stadium Way)

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