Over the past 25 years, life expectancy after 50 has risen in the United States, but at a slower rate than in countries like Japan and Australia, said a recently released National Academy of Sciences report as noted in this Yahoo! Health update.
The gap sounded the alarm among government researchers because the United States spends more on health care than any other country, said the study which examined mortality records in 21 countries.
Men in the U. S. showed an increase in life expectancy of 5.5 years between 1980 and 2006 for an average lifespan of 75.64 years, while U. S. women’s lifespans expanded from 77.5 to 80.7 years.
The culprit: “Three to five decades ago, smoking was much more widespread in the U. S. than in Europe or Japan, and the health consequences are still playing out in today’s mortality rates,” said the report. Read more…