U.S. Health Lags Behind Other Nations

March 22, 2013

by Christine Cameron

The National Academies’ Institute of Medicine held a public briefing on the report "U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health," on March 18 in Washington, D.C. The report compares the United States to 16 comparable high-income level "peer countries," and reveals that Americans show a health disadvantage for all age groups up to age 75 on multiple measures of mortality and morbidity, including life expectancy, diseases, biological and behavioral risk factors and injuries. 

Over the last 30 years the gap between Americans' life expectancy and that of their international peers has been growing, especially for women. Paradoxically, the United States outpaces other OECD countries in per capita healthcare expenditures by almost twice the median. The report explains the findings and suggests future directions for understanding the gap. 

See the report »