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Friday, July 19, 2013

Missouri ranks down with Mississippi on life health

Needless to say, not good.

From NPR last evening:

At age 65, Americans can expect 14 more healthy years on average. But that varies a lot depending on where you live.

From the article:

It's not just how long you live that matters. It's healthy life expectancy – the additional years of good health you can expect once you hit 65.

And by that measure, a new analysis shows it makes a lot of difference where Americans live.

Hawaiians are lucky in more than their idyllic weather and gorgeous scenery. Seniors there can expect a little more than 16 years of healthy life after 65. Women in Hawaii can expect more than 17 years.

At the other extreme, Mississippi's seniors have less than 11 years of healthy life. Older black Mississippians have only eight years, lower than anywhere except, oddly, African-Americans in Iowa, with seven years.

The national average is 14 years. That is, the average 65-year-old American can expect good health until age 79 – a little more for women, a little less for men.

And if you check out that chart, above, you'll see, as the title today tells, Missouri ranks down with Mississippi, for pity's sake, and lots of other Southern states for some of the worst longevity in the nation.

Nice, huh?

And we don't need to improve and change our health care system, eh?  Right?

Not to be done there, here's a real kicker, too:

Obviously, socioeconomic status is a common denominator in all these factors, but it's not just a matter of having more money – or spending more on health care.

That's borne out by a different study published earlier this month in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association.

It compared the United States with 34 other developed countries in how long their populations live and how healthy they remain. It's part of an ambitious effort by a group called the U.S. Burden of Disease Collaborators.

Strikingly, the U.S. rank declined on every measure of longevity and good health between 1990 and 2010. On "healthy life expectancy," the US went from 14th place to 26th over those two decades – while its already disproportionately high health care spending spiraled ever higher.

We have to keep in mind, as this points out above, America has teh most expensive health care system in the world yet we're getting some of the worst health outcomes of all the 17 industrial nations in the world we're compared to.

Again, we don't need to fix our health care system?

Are they out of their minds?

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