Americans suffer more chronic disease than British

The United States spends twice as much per capita each year on health care as Britain but sees higher rates of nearly every chronic disease, even among children, said a study out Wednesday.

Despite the cash outflow, Americans over 50 are in worse health than Britons and have shorter life expectancies. The trend also does not appear to be related to the fact that people in the United States tend to be fatter than the British.

"Our findings suggest that body weight is not the driving force behind the observed health differentials between the United States and England and that, if weight plays a role, it is a complicated one," said the study in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

In fact, previous studies have not found any clear evidence for the difference when looking at health insurance, behaviors, obesity, socioeconomic status or race and ethnicity, leaving researchers puzzled as to why such variations could exist among otherwise similar populations.

A possibility for further investigation could be how residents of the two countries use health care resources differently.

"Despite the greater use of health care technology in the United States, Americans receive less preventive health care than their English counterparts. They have fewer physician consultations per year," it said.

The study compared data for people aged 0 to 80 from nationally representative health surveys in Britain (Health Survey for England 2003-2006) and the United States (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 1999 to 2006).

"Overall, the United States has higher rates of chronic conditions and markers of disease than England. Differences between the two countries are statistically significant for every condition except hypertension," it said.

Chronic conditions included diabetes, asthma, heart attack, stroke, high cholesterol and high C-reactive protein, which can be a general indicator of inflammation and disease.

The US survey reported fewer cigarette smokers and heavy alcohol drinkers than in Britain, but the study cautioned that "respondents tend to underreport substance use in surveys... (so) the rates of smoking and heavy drinking should be interpreted with caution."

ksh/oh

 

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Life and Style
techYahoo Japan launches service to delete your files and email your relatives when you die
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
<p><strong>2008</strong></p>
<p>Troubled actor Robert Downey Jr cements his comeback from drug problems by bagging the lead role in Iron Man. Two further films follow</p>
filmRobert Downey Jr named Hollywood's highest paid actor for second year running
Life and Style
Dale Bolinger arranged to meet the girl via a fetish website
life
Property
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Digital Content Manager,Leicester

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Charter Selection: Leading Nationwide and important...

    Commercial IP Solicitor - Oxford

    Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: OXFORDSHIRE - COMMERCIAL IP /IT - We ...

    Sales Director, Edgeware, Middlesex

    £55 - £70K OTE £120k Plus Car: Charter Selection: Major multi-million pound la...

    Citrix - 3rd Line Support

    competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Citrix Specialist required by leading IT...

    Day In a Page

    Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

    The 'scroungers’ fight back

    The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
    Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

    Fireballs in space

    Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
    A Bible for billionaires

    A Bible for billionaires

    Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
    Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

    Paranoid parenting is on the rise

    And our children are suffering because of it
    For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

    Magna Carta Island goes on sale

    Yours for a cool £4m
    Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

    Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

    Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

    For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
    Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

    Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

    Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
    Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

    Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

    They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
    The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

    20 best days out for the summer holidays

    From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
    Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

    All the wood’s a stage

    Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
    Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

    Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

    Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
    Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

    Self-preservation society

    Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
    Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

    Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

    We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor