Global Burden of Disease Report Evaluates the World's Health
Life expectancy in the United States trails other wealthy nations
FRIDAY, Oct. 7, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The United States lags behind other advanced nations when it comes to infant mortality and the life expectancy of its citizens, according to a comprehensive review of global health statistics published in the Oct. 8 issue of The Lancet.
These findings are part of the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors Study 2015, a scientific analysis of more than 300 diseases and injuries in 195 countries and territories.
Infant mortality in the United States amounted in 2015 to six deaths out of every 1,000 children younger than 5, while the average for all high-income nations combined was about five deaths per 1,000. U.S. men had an average life expectancy of 76.7 years in 2015, with about 66.8 of those years spent in good health. Life expectancy for U.S. women was 81.5 years on average, with 69.5 years spent in good health. By comparison, all high-income countries combined had an average 78.1 years of life expectancy for men and 83.4 years for women, the study reported. Years lived in good health averaged 68.9 for men and 72.2 for women.
The researchers found that drug abuse and diabetes are causing a disproportionate amount of ill health and early death in the United States, compared with other countries. U.S. deaths linked to opioid use increased more than five-fold over the past 25 years, increasing from nearly 4,000 deaths in 1990 to more than 21,300 in 2015. In the United States, heart disease remains the leading cause of death, resulting in more than 532,000 deaths in 2015. The second top cause of death was Alzheimer's disease, with 282,530 deaths in 2015. Lung cancer ranked third with 187,390 deaths.