One in 25 American children won’t live to their 40th birthday, according to a shocking analysis that lays bare the US’s abysmal life expectancy record.
An analysis found that guns, drugs and other preventable deaths are killing the US’s youth and driving down life expectancy. Among the current group of American children aged five, one-in-25 will not live to see their 40th birthday.
The average American lives 77.2 years, falling short of the 80.9 years of life in the UK, 82.8 in France and 82.3 in Spain.
The average person in America will also live as many years in good health as citizens in the unhealthiest town in the whole of England, figures show.
The average American has the same healthy life expectancy as the average resident of Blackpool, considered to be the worst district in England
Unlike its peers, the US suffered an extremely stark drop in life expectancy in 2020, and it did not bounce back in 2021. Even if Covid deaths are removed, America still suffered a significant drop in lifespan that other countries did not
Residents of the US only live healthily for 65 years on average, according to data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), a part of the University of Washington.
Different than typical life expectancy, the average healthy lifespan of a person is how long they live before being severely hampered by a chronic illness.
Many point to the nation’s growing opioid epidemic and gun violence as contributing to both issues.
Analysis by the Financial Times highlights the stark gap in life expectancy between America and one of its closest peers.
It calculated the average healthy lifespan of each county in England, each state in the US and America as a whole using data from the IHME.
A person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at age 65, for example, may live to age 90. While they would be counted as living 90 years, this metric would determine they only live 65 healthy years.
The analysis found the average American lives only 65 healthy years, well below the nation’s average lifespan of 77.
This figure falls well below every district in England, bar one. Blackpool, a famously impoverished city on the northeast coast of the island nation, also has an average healthy lifespan of 65.
In 1992, the city became the poster for child poverty in England, when photos of an impoverished family from the seaside city made waves in the English press.
While considered a city that has been failed by the private and public-sector in the UK, it surprisingly matches the wealthiest nation on earth for the general health of its population.
In West Virginia, the least healthy US state, things are especially dire.
West Virginians only live an average of 60 healthy years of life, the IHME finds — coming in five years short of Blackpool.
The analysis of IHME data also found a staggering number of deaths suffered by young people in the US.
It found that two percent, or one-in-50, of children that are five years old today will not live to see 30. Twice that number, four percent, will not reach 40.
In an analysis of 10 peer nations, he found that their rates slightly tick above one percent.
This burden mainly falls on young people, though. Americans that are already aged 75 or older will usually live as long as their peers.
This means that major killers of young Americans are driving down life expectancy, including guns, drugs and other preventable deaths.
In a report last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that gun-related homicides in the US increased 35 percent during the pandemic.
Overall gun-related injury jumped 40 percent, the same CDC report found.
While anyone can be struck by gun violence, younger people are more likely to be victims. Every day, around 110 Americans are killed by gun violence.
Guns are the leading killers of children in the US, surpassing vehicle accidents in 2019.
The US life expectancy dropped significantly from 2019 to 2020, falling 1.8 years to 77 on average. But, even before the Covid pandemic, Americans were living around three years less than many of their peers
Deaths caused by fentanyl in the US surged in the 2010s. At the start of the decade, 2,666 Americans died of a fentanyl overdose. This figure shot up to 19,413 by 2016. Covid made the situation worse, with a record 72,484 deaths recorded in 2021
Meanwhile, the pandemic also fueled a surge in deadly drug overdoses. The CDC recorded more than 100,000 deadly overdoses in 2021, a new record.
These were fueled by the highly potent synthetic opioid fentanyl, responsible for 72,484 of them.
Overall, the number of preventable deaths in America far exceeds those of its peers. In a study of 13 developed nations in January, the Commonwealth Fund found that the US suffers twice as many preventable deaths as its peers.
According to the analysis by the Washington DC-based non-profit, 336 per every 100,000 Americans died unnecessarily in 2020.
These deaths include those from guns, drugs, homicides, car accidents and deaths that could have been stopped with preventive medical care.
This far exceeds figures posted by Switzerland (130) and Sweden (150). In the UK, the figure was only 194.
In separate research, the CDC found that drug overdose deaths among US teens doubled over a two-year period — with fentanyl mainly to blame.
This has resulted in the US’ life expectancy being slammed harder than other nations during the pandemic.
While the virus harmed people globally, America suffered a larger drop in lifespan than many of its peers in 2020, falling from 78.8 years to 77.
Unlike the UK, Australia and other peers, it did not experience a rebound in 2021. In America, the lifespan continued its fall, dropping to 76.4.
This is despite the large amount of money America spends on its healthcare when compared to his peers.
The Commonwealth Fund report found the US spends 17.8 percent of its annual GDP of health care, a figure that has rapidly grown over the last decade.
This also far outpaces any other nation, with the next highest among 13 developed nations included in the survey being Germany at 12.8 percent.
The UK spends around 12 percent of its GDP on health care costs.
Read the full article here
Discussion about this post