January 22, 2013

Years behind the leader

U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health

This latest report of IOM-NAS highlights the outcomes of a health system and poor health behaviours. The concern about the US population health is growing. I was astonished by this statement:
Demographers refer to this measure as 35q15, or the probability of dying in the 35 years following one’s 15th birthday. For females in the 16 peer countries, 35q15 was around 2 percent in 2007 but was approximately twice as high—4 percent—in the United States. This means that the probability of a 15-year-old U.S. female dying within 35 years was double the average for 16 peer high-income countries.
In all high-income countries, including the United States, 35q15 has been declining for more than half a century. But the relative position of the United States has deteriorated since the late 1950s, when it was near the average of its peers. These countries, on average, had reduced their 35q15 for females to the U.S. 2007 level of 4 percent almost 40 years earlier. In this sense, one can say that, in 2007, the United States was 40 years behind the average of its peers (and 50 years behind the leading peer country).
Forty years behind the leader! that's a lot. A great effort is needed to balance such situation. An important sailors alert: those that want fierce and unregulated competition without mandatory insurance should have these results in their mind. Is this really what they want?

PS. The cheapest ad for a company is the one you may watch on TV3,  i.e. yesterday on TN about prenatal genetic screening. Why do all the citizens have to pay for this advertisement through our taxes?