While the United States has shown improvements for treatments of heart disease and cancer, the country falls short when compared to other developed nations in terms of increasing life expectancy, a study shows.
Life expectancy numbers for both men and women in the United States have increased. However, residents in other countries can generally expect to live longer according to an in-depth report by National Research Council and National Academies researchers.
Although the United States was not the highest in terms of life expectancy, the U.S. ranked very highly in terms of cancer screening and survival, and survival after heart attacks.
These rankings come at a cost, though. So steep, in fact, the health care costs in the United States are nearly twice that of any other country.
The most concerning fact for many researchers is that the overall physical and mental health of Americans is generally worse, even though costs are nearly double.
A primary cause of this has been linked to the sedentary nature of the American culture.
The largest problem for the United States is obesity. Leading all other developed countries, the American people live sedentary lifestyles, further increasing obesity risks which are often accompanied by diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Only time will tell about the true long-term effects of a consistently obese nation, but researchers are nervous about what is to come if the trends continue.