US Residents are less healthy than English counterparts

  1. 0 From JAMA (Emphasis added)
    Results The US population in late middle age is less healthy than the equivalent British population for diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, myocardial infarction, stroke, lung disease, and cancer. Within each country, there exists a pronounced negative socioeconomic status (SES) gradient with self-reported disease so that health disparities are largest at the bottom of the education or income variants of the SES hierarchy. This conclusion is generally robust to control for a standard set of behavioral risk factors, including smoking, overweight, obesity, and alcohol drinking, which explain very little of these health differences. These differences between countries or across SES groups within each country are not due to biases in self-reported disease because biological markers of disease exhibit exactly the same patterns. To illustrate, among those aged 55 to 64 years, diabetes prevalence is twice as high in the United States and only one fifth of this difference can be explained by a common set of risk factors. Similarly, among middle-aged adults, mean levels of C-reactive protein are 20% higher in the United States compared with England and mean high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels are 14% lower. These differences are not solely driven by the bottom of the SES distribution. In many diseases, the top of the SES distribution is less healthy in the United States as well.
    Another argument for single payer health care.
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  3. Visit  HM2VikingRN profile page

    About HM2VikingRN

    From 'TORCHWOOD'; Joined Apr '06; Posts: 11,164; Likes: 11,414.

    26 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  CHATSDALE profile page
    0
    we are a diverse group but we for a large part of previous centuries much of the US lived in small 'pockets' and we concentrated genes good and bad

    which doesn't excuse us from setting up good health habits eating/exercise etc
  5. Visit  HM2VikingRN profile page
    0
    How true! THe thing that struck me was the relationship between poverty and chronic medical conditions.
  6. Visit  fergus51 profile page
    0
    The US always seems to score lower than most other countries for health. I blame MacDonalds
  7. Visit  Shamira Aizza profile page
    0
    This is not an argument for single-payor health care, because it has nothing to do with who is paying for it.

    It's about the behavior of the consumer, not the structure of the system.

    Near 30% of our population is obese, and while we are great at treating the complications of obesity (diabetes, heart disease, etc), the consumer is not interested in treating obesity.

    And during routine activities like going to work or shopping, we are less inclined to walk to work or ride our bike; we use our cars for everything, and visit massive shopping complexes with elevators, escalators, and a fleet of three-wheeled-scooters at the door...the Europeans have accepted the high fuel costs (instead of complaining about it and blaming it on an administration), and have adjusted to this challenge by taking the shoe-leather express or pedaling.

    Additionally, there are remarkable discrepancies in some of the data that the WHO uses to compare countries; countries are allowed to submit their data according to their own benchmarks. For example; a preemie born in the US at 23 weeks that dies after any amount of time in the NICU shows up in the natal mortality roles, while some socialized countries won't even attempt to rescuscitate an infant less than 28 weeks and these are then counted as spontaneous abortions instead of a morbid neonate. Not necessarily related to this issue, but a reflection of different ways of thinking.

    Our privatized system is not perfect, but it is far better than the socialized systems plaguing countries like the UK. Our problem is the consumer. We are simply not committed to taking care of ourselves.
  8. Visit  fergus51 profile page
    0
    Which socialized countries don't attempt to rescucitate until 28 weeks? Just curious. When I was in Canada it was the same as here in the US.
  9. Visit  Tweety profile page
    0
    The only thing we're tops in is health care spending.

    Several countries in Europe and Asia have higher life expentencies and better health.

    This isn't news to me.

    In our inequitable health care system the connection between poverty and ill health is another no-brainer.
  10. Visit  shukry profile page
    0
    "Our privatized system is not perfect, but it is far better than the socialized systems plaguing countries like the UK. "
    Shamira, our private system is imperfect and only good for those with $$, and I believe that the socialized system healthcare is good, unless someone out there has something better. I also agree with WHO data for two reasons (1) they have nothing to gain to mislead. (2) The poor people in America cannot afford healthcare -the only time they go is when there is an emergency which is most of the time too late.
    UK and the rest of Europe are pushing for a better enviroment and that is why the use the train, walk etc. The government is involved in the health of its people. Our president did not attend the recent meeting in Carlifornia on Enviroment - but he UK came of all the way.
  11. Visit  Marie_LPN, RN profile page
    0
    What a surprise. Not.
  12. Visit  gwenith profile page
    0
    Quote from Shamira Aizza
    This is not an argument for single-payor health care, because it has nothing to do with who is paying for it.

    It's about the behavior of the consumer, not the structure of the system.

    Near 30% of our population is obese, and while we are great at treating the complications of obesity (diabetes, heart disease, etc), the consumer is not interested in treating obesity.

    And during routine activities like going to work or shopping, we are less inclined to walk to work or ride our bike; we use our cars for everything, and visit massive shopping complexes with elevators, escalators, and a fleet of three-wheeled-scooters at the door...the Europeans have accepted the high fuel costs (instead of complaining about it and blaming it on an administration), and have adjusted to this challenge by taking the shoe-leather express or pedaling.

    Additionally, there are remarkable discrepancies in some of the data that the WHO uses to compare countries; countries are allowed to submit their data according to their own benchmarks. For example; a preemie born in the US at 23 weeks that dies after any amount of time in the NICU shows up in the natal mortality roles, while some socialized countries won't even attempt to rescuscitate an infant less than 28 weeks and these are then counted as spontaneous abortions instead of a morbid neonate. Not necessarily related to this issue, but a reflection of different ways of thinking.

    Our privatized system is not perfect, but it is far better than the socialized systems plaguing countries like the UK. Our problem is the consumer. We are simply not committed to taking care of ourselves.
    Don't knock a national health care system until you have lived with one. Our system is not perfect BUT it does have singular advantages. One is that when the goverment is paying for things they then get REAL interested in keeping people healthy in the first place.

    This has given rise here to ad campaigns such as "slip slop slap" to reduce skin cancer rates, "life be in it" to encourage more physical activity and so on.

    Here if you are diagnosed as diabetic you get your Glucometer and strips at vastly reduced cost to encourage better compliance and monitoring to reduce long term poor outcomes.

    Do you want me to continue?
  13. Visit  indigo girl profile page
    0
    Quote from fergus51
    The US always seems to score lower than most other countries for health. I blame MacDonalds

    Yes, it's the fast food conditioning of a nation. You can not lead a sedentary lifestyle, and consume transfats, high fructose corn syrup, and a diet high in processed foods and remain in good health. In this healthcare system there seems to be an emphasis on the treatment of symptoms instead of the causes of disease. If the symptoms go away, a return to health is assumed without examining why or how the symptoms occurred. Instead of taking responsibility for the wellbeing of our bodies, we instead sub it out, to insurance companies, to drug companies, and to physicians. It would never occur to most people that they can learn how to care for themselves and their families, and use the medical professionals for preventive care and as consultants in remaining healthy. There is a seeming disconnect between how we live, eat, and care for ourselves, and what happens to our physical bodies. It's like we don't really get, that if we don't take care of our bodies, we won't have any place to live.
  14. Visit  HM2VikingRN profile page
    0
    The US actually does have 3 functional single payer systems in place.

    (Tricare for DOD, the VA system and the Federal Employees plan). Guess what due to economy of scale AND being able to bargain for best price on pharmaceuticals these systems have the lowest core rate of medical inflation.

    I agree with the comments about personal behavior being involved with improving health but I also have no doubt that poverty is the single greatest risk factor for health problems.
  15. Visit  leslie :-D profile page
    0
    Another major factor is our societal aspirations for strategically-marketed motivators in our quest for time/stress reduction, in our professional and personal lives.
    Combine the aforementioned w/the everything-at-the-press-of-a-button mentality = a nation that is mentally and physically apathetic, as well as ridiculously high stress levels.
    We're so accustomed to expecting alot w/minimal effort.
    And rather than reduce our stressors through the therapeutic endeavors of exercise, meditation, healthy diet, etc., our tendencies focus on quick, easy meals and couch potato relaxation.
    Even exercise equipment is geared at covering the most muscle groups in 5 minutes a day!
    We are a nation that commands immediate gratification.
    And so, this news re: the state of our physical health, shouldn't be any surprise.
    I believe Tweety referred to it as a "no-brainer". And rightfully so.

    Leslie
    Last edit by leslie :-D on Aug 11, '06


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