Past Articles

Live in a High-Income Country? Don’t Expect the Highest Life Expectancy

Two new studies are revealing some startling facts about recent life expectancies in high-income countries like the U.S.: They're declining, but for surprising reasons. The first of the studies examined life expectancy trends among 18 countries with high income. Overwhelmingly, most of them experienced simultaneous declines in 2015 for the first time in decades. In the U.S., drug overdoses due to the opioid epidemic are to blame for a large number of young adult deaths. In other high-income countries, a harsh flu was mostly behind declining life expectancies during the 2014-2015 season. Most were able to rebound their rates during 2015-2016, but the U.K. and the U.S. were not among them. Meanwhile, a second study adds that the opioid epidemic is just the beginning – deaths from alcohol abuse and suicide are also on the rise in the U.S., not to mention death during middle age due to diseases of the organs, including the heart, digestive system, and lungs. The second study also suggests that lower life expectancies may have psychological and socioeconomic origins. In short, what causes people in low socioeconomic groups to make bad health choices like smoking, abusing alcohol, and eating unhealthy foods?  The German researchers behind the study, from the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, suggest that stress from income inequality, social exclusion, and more can be the starting point.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: The BMJ, online August 22, 2018.