U.S. ranks 42nd in life expectency behind countries such as friggin’ Guam.

U.S. Lags Behind 41 Nations in Life Span – Forbes.com

“Something’s wrong here when one of the richest countries in the world, the one that spends the most on health care, is not able to keep up with other countries,” said Dr. Christopher Murray, head of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

No shit. Certainly a lot of this has to do with the fact that we’re rich enough to be fat and lazy, but the fact that 45 million people are without health care doesn’t help in the slightest.

A baby born in the United States in 2004 will live an average of 77.9 years. That life expectancy ranks 42nd, down from 11th two decades earlier, according to international numbers provided by the Census Bureau and domestic numbers from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Andorra, a tiny country in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain, had the longest life expectancy, at 83.5 years, according to the Census Bureau. It was followed by Japan, Maucau, San Marino and Singapore.

The shortest life expectancies were clustered in Sub-Saharan Africa, a region that has been hit hard by an epidemic of HIV and AIDS, as well as famine and civil strife. Swaziland has the shortest, at 34.1 years, followed by Zambia, Angola, Liberia and Zimbabwe.

As always there’s still a significant racial disparity to boot:

Racial disparities. Black Americans have an average life expectancy of 73.3 years, five years shorter than white Americans.

Black American males have a life expectancy of 69.8 years, slightly longer than the averages for Iran and Syria and slightly shorter than in Nicaragua and Morocco.

And our infant mortality rates are just plain stupid:

A relatively high percentage of babies born in the U.S. die before their first birthday, compared with other industrialized nations.

Forty countries, including Cuba, Taiwan and most of Europe had lower infant mortality rates than the U.S. in 2004. The U.S. rate was 6.8 deaths for every 1,000 live births. It was 13.7 for Black Americans, the same as Saudi Arabia.

“It really reflects the social conditions in which African American women grow up and have children,” said Dr. Marie C. McCormick, professor of maternal and child health at the Harvard School of Public Health. “We haven’t done anything to eliminate those disparities.”

The fact that Cuba, with all the sanctions it has to deal with, has a lower infant mortality rate than the U.S. is just flabbergasting. But at least the Insurance Companies are making record profits, eh? Best health care in the world? Perhaps.

Shame only a few can afford it.

6 thoughts on “U.S. ranks 42nd in life expectency behind countries such as friggin’ Guam.

  1. The whole system is fucking wack and just as you said stupid.  But when Moore makes a movie about Health Care everyone goes nuts and starts the mudslinging.  But always end by saying, “Yes the US Health Care System is shitty, but Universal systems are not the answer.”  Bullshit!

    Universal systems works and would do this country a lot of good.

  2. Yeah, but the response of the Rethuglicans and their paymasters is to blame it on Americans themselves.  You already see that happening, and I highly doubt that they’ve come close to emptying their arsenals on those who have the temerity to criticize the plutocracy.  Brace yourselves for more swift-boating, more scaremongering, more of everything you’ve come to expect from the well-oiled slime machine that is industrialized medicine.

  3. Certainly a lot of this has to do with the fact that we’re rich enough to be fat and lazy…

    With 66% of the country overweight the fat and lazy part extends beyond class.  Part of that also relates to the fact that we’ve forgotten how to eat.  How many gardens did you see this summer in your neighborhood?  I haven’t seen one.  When I was a kid everybody had gardens.

  4. Really you don’t even need a garden.  Just go to your local farmer’s market.  For pretty cheap you can get all the fruits and veggies you need.

    The main explanation for obesity is just laziness.

  5. It would have been really nice if they had referenced a particular study.  Iw ould have liked to know what the life expectancy of Native Americans is nowadays.  I bet they’ve got it worse than just about every other minority in America.

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