US Falls Behind World In Life Expectancy

( – The life expectancy of United States citizens continues to decline and fall behind other nations. The number has been on a downward trend since the 1950’s, in-fact the United States has not shown the longest life spans since before World War II. The new data comes from a study released by the American Journal of Public Health authored by Steven Woolfe. He points out that although the United States spends more money on health care than any nation in the world it lags behind dozens of other nations in longevity and healthy living. Countries like Lebanon, Czechia, Albania and Cuba all best the United States. Some people may point to America’s obesity issues over the last decades as the culprit. However, one alarming trend Woolfe notes is that even Americans in good shape who don’t partake in bad habits like smoking, still have a higher disease rate than their counterparts in other nations. 

To put into perspective the rate life expectancy decline in the United States we should look at 1950 where the US ranked 13th in studied nations, in 1968 the US was down to 29th place and now among 200 nations the US is in 53rd place. During the COVID-19 pandemic the United States plummeted to new depths. The life expectancy right now in the United States is at just under 77 years of age by caparison the life expectancy in Japan is 85 years of age. 

Experts are split as to what is causing this but many point to a combination of drug abuse, traffic incidents, suicide and overall lack of health care. Professor of gerontology at the University of Southern California, Eileen Crimmins points specifically to the “opioid epidemic which is clearly ours” compared to other nations who have only a fraction of the drug fatalities. Within the country, life expectancy was longest in the Northeast and the West and lowest in the Midwestern and Central Southern states. The state with the largest drop in life expectancy was the same state with the most people leaving, New York which fell from just under 81years in 2019 to just under 78 years in 2020. 

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