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Study: U.S. most expensive healthcare, mediocre outcomes

July 12, 2013 at 10:07 PM   |   Comments

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SEATTLE, July 12 (UPI) -- From 1990-2010, among 34 developed countries, the United States ranked for several health criteria at around 27th, researchers say.

Dr. Christopher J.L. Murray of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle and colleagues conducted a study to identify the leading diseases, injuries and risk factors in the United States.

The researchers used the systematic analysis of descriptive epidemiology of 291 diseases and injuries, 1,160 complications of these diseases and injuries and 67 risk factors or clusters of risk factors from 1990-2010 for 187 countries developed for the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study.

"The United States spends the most per capita on healthcare across all countries, lacks universal health coverage, and lags behind other high-income countries for life expectancy and many other health outcome measures," the study said.

"In the last two decades, improvements in population health in the United States did not keep pace with advances in population health in other wealthy nations."

The study, published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found among 34 countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development from 1990-2010, the U.S. rank for the age-standardized death rate dropped from 18 to 27, for the age-standardized years of life lost due to premature mortality rate from 23 to 28, for the age-standardized years lived with disability rate from 5 to 6, for life expectancy at birth from 20 to 27 and for healthy life expectancy from 14 to 26.

The researchers found U.S. life expectancy for both sexes combined increased from 75.2 years in 1990 to 78.2 years in 2010.

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