U.S. lags in reducing preventable deaths

Aug. 29, 2012 at 7:25 PM   |   Comments

LONDON, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- The United States lags France, Britain and Germany in reducing the number of preventable deaths, researchers found.

The study, published online ahead of the September print issue of Health Affairs, compared mortality rates in the Unites States, France, Britain and Germany from 1999 to 2007 and found preventable death declined by 18.5 percent in the United States compared to 36.9 percent in the United Kingdom, 27.7 percent in France, and 24.3 percent in Germany.

For the purposes of the study, preventable deaths included cancer, heart disease, diabetes and acute infections that could have been avoided with timely and effective healthcare.

Ellen Nolte, director of Health and Healthcare at Rand Europe, and Martin McKee, professor of European Public Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, analyzed data from the World Health Organization mortality database for the European countries and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the United States.

Among men ages 65-74, the mortality rates per 1,000 men were unchanged from 1999 to 2007, while there were declines in other countries: 0.46 fewer deaths per 100,000 a year in Germany, 2.22 in Britain and 3.11 in France.

Women ages 65-74 experienced a decline in mortality rates from circulatory conditions other than heart disease in all four countries between 1999 and 2007, but the pace of change was the smallest in the United States -- 4.33 fewer deaths per 100,000 per year compared with 4.8 in France, 8.64 in Germany, and 11.56 in the Britain, the study said.

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