US Lags Sister Nations in Cutting Preventable Deaths
By Megan Brooks, from Medscape
August 29, 2012 — The United States lags behind France, Germany, and the United Kingdom in the rate of potentially preventable deaths and in the pace of improvement in preventing deaths that could have been avoided with timely and effective healthcare, also known as “amenable mortality,” according to a study released today.
“Despite spending about twice as much per person each year on health care as France, Germany or the UK…the US is increasingly falling behind these countries in terms of progress in lowering the potentially preventable death rate,” Karen Davis, president of the Commonwealth Fund, which supported the study, said in a statement.
“The good news,” she said, “is that the Affordable Care Act is already beginning to close the gaps in access to care. When fully implemented, it will cover nearly all Americans, with the potential to put our country on track to improve to levels seen in the best-performing countries,” she said.
The authors of the study, published online August 29 in Health Affairs, are 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 in the United Kingdom.
Higher Amenable Mortality in the United States
The authors examined trends and patterns in “amenable mortality” in the United States compared with France, Germany, and the United Kingdom between 1999 and 2007. Causes of potentially preventable deaths included treatable cancers, diabetes, cerebrovascular disease, and hypertension.
In a nutshell, the authors found that the rate of decline in amenable mortality in the United States was slower than that in France or Germany, and especially slow compared with that in the United Kingdom. As a consequence, amenable mortality rates in the United States in 2007 were nearly twice as high as those in France, which had the lowest levels of the 4 countries, they say.
“Although US men and women had the lowest mortality from treatable cancers among the four countries, deaths from circulatory conditions — chiefly cerebrovascular disease and hypertension — were the main reason amenable death rates remained relatively high in the United States,” the authors write.
Overall, during the study, amenable mortality rates among men fell by 18.5% in the United States compared with 36.9% in the United Kingdom. Among women, the rate of potentially preventable deaths fell by 17.5% in the United States but by 31.9% in the United Kingdom.
The authors also looked at potentially preventable death rates for people younger than 65 years and people aged 65 to 74 years.
Although the pace of improvement was slower in the United States for both age groups, the lag was most pronounced among American men and women younger than 65 years, who are more likely to be uninsured than the Medicare-eligible 65-and-older set, they note.
According to the report, by 2007, the potentially preventable death rate among US men younger than age 65 years was 69 per 100,000, which is considerably higher than in the United Kingdom (53/100,000), Germany, (50/100,000), and France (37/100,000). Potentially preventable death rates for men in this age group have declined more rapidly in all 3 countries since 1999 than in the United States, the authors say.
Among women younger than 65 years, the potentially preventable death rate dropped from 64 to 56 per 100,000 in the United States, from 61 to 46 per 100,000 in the United Kingdom, from 49 to 40 per 100,000 in Germany, and from 42 to 34 per 100,000 in France.
For both women and men younger than 65 years, US potentially preventable death rates remain higher than the other 3 countries.
The Case for Reform
“Our findings indicate that younger Americans do not appear to benefit from health care to the same extent as do their older compatriots or Europeans,” the authors write.
Younger Americans die earlier than younger Europeans
“Our analyses,” they continue, “confirm our hypothesis that the relative impact of health care in the United States varies by age group as a result of age-dependent differences in access to health care. We show that the lagging progress of the United States compared to other countries, as measured by amenable mortality, is largely driven by elevated amenable mortality among those younger than age 65.”
“These findings strengthen the case for reforms that will enable all Americans to receive timely and effective health care,” the authors conclude. France, Germany, and the United Kingdom all provide universal coverage to their populations, regardless of age.
Dr. Pinna says:
This study is evidence of the fact that the American Government is controlled by Big Business and not by the American People.
The Directors of Big Business are motivated only by profit and they are totally without morality.
These Directors are killing thousands, perhaps millions, of innocent Americans by not providing the public with the type of healthcare that prevents diseases.
These Directors would rather sell useless drugs and useless procedures rather than educating the public and preventing disease.
Unfortunately, the American Public is so fixated on pleasure, such as eating foods that produces obesity, or watching television that produces illiteracy, that they cannot protect themselves from these predators.
Eventually, as in Syria today, it will come down to violence and the Predators will be ultimately exterminated. We are seeing across the world, that only violence will change the behavior of Human Predators! Human Predators are so intensely controlled by their greed that they cannot change, and the people must ultimately kill these Predators.
We are seeing an example of this in Syria today, where one man is killing almost half of his country’s population so that he can maintain his dictatorial powers.
There is no other species where this type of insanity is found!