Health Care Matters for Life Expectancy, New Study Finds

A surprising new study reported recently by a team of researchers at Columbia University has reported a new culprit in the rate of early deaths in America – the health care system.  Their study concluded that the 15 year survival rates for men and women between the ages of 45 and 65 had fallen in the United States over the past 30 years, when compared to those rates in 12 other countries.Figures of this sort play into the support people offer for health care reform; although critics cry that the United States has higher rates for obesity, traffic fatalities and murders than do many other countries.  What sets this study apart is that the Columbia team says it accounted for these factors in their research.Columbia’s Peter Muennig, who lead the study which was published in the journal Health Affairs, said, “But what really surprised us was that all of the usual suspects — smoking, obesity, traffic accidents, and homicides — are not the culprits.”  The U.S. doesn’t stand out as doing any worse in these areas than any of the other countries we studied, leading us to believe that failings in the U.S. health care system, such as costly specialized and fragmented care, are likely playing a large role in this relatively poor performance on improvements in life expectancy.”

Janice Marks

Janice Marks – A retired nurse and home health care professional, Janice has written prolifically about the American health care system. As a writer for Left Justified focused on the current changes in the health care community, she weaves her professional background and expertise into her evaluation of the current health care issues facing the American government and people. Contact Janice at janicemarks(at)

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