Living in the US could be hazardous to your health, national study says

The United States spends more on health care than any other nation - nearly $8,700 per person per year. 

Yet U.S. residents die sooner and live far less healthy lives than do people who live in other high-income nations, says a report from the National Academies called “U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health."

Researchers compared the health and lifespans of Americans to those living in 16 other high-income democracies.  

Their findings? That we’re more likely to die from violence; injuries; maternal conditions related to pregnancy; communicable diseases, such as HIV/AIDS; non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes; and just about every other cause of death than our global peers.

What's more, the report says, it’s a downward spiral that’s been worsening for three decades - especially among U.S. women.

The study says high levels of poverty, overeating, and drug abuse are among the factors contributing to the health and life-span decline. But, it added, even highly advantaged U.S. citizens may be in worse health than their global peers.

Click on this interactive chart to view a  comparison of causes of death in the U.S. to those in the 16 peer nations studied. 

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