Online Program

US Health In International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 8:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.

Steven Woolf, MD, VCU Center on Human Needs, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, Richmond, VA
The Panel on Understanding Differences in Health Across High-Income Countries compared the health of Americans with that of 16 peer countries and found a pervasive disadvantage on multiple measures of mortality and morbidity that has existed for decades and has been getting worse over time. This presentation will review the data, including the U.S. ranking on life expectancy; all-cause and disease-specific mortality rates across a diverse group of conditions; death rates by age groups, sex, and race-ethnicity; and the prevalence of diseases and injuries across the life course. The panel found a pervasive U.S. disadvantage in almost every analysis it conducted, including disturbing trends in women, children, and adolescents. Although the disadvantage is accentuated in vulnerable populations that suffer from well-known health disparities, the panel's analyses revealed that even "advantaged" Americans (non-Hispanic whites, upper-income, college educated, insured, etc.) have shorter lives and poorer health than comparable groups in peer countries. A handful of conditions for which the U.S. has an advantage, such as cancer screening and survival after age 75, will also be discussed.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify the major health indicators for which Americans are at a substantial disadvantage compared to peer high-income countries. Describe the health disadvantage for specific subgroups of the population.

Keyword(s): Public Health Policy, Public Health Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was a member of the committee that authored the report that will be discussed in the session.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.