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Dr Michael Naylor's New Book "Insurance Transformed"

United States: Life Expectancy Falling

An epidemic in addiction to opioid pain-relief drugs in the United States is cutting life expectancy - it is most unusual for a rich-world economy to have falling life expectancy, but the US has managed it for two years in a row, and a third looks likely based on provisional data, according to this report from The Economist. The article, sub-titled 'not great again' partly an indictment of US government lack of organisation and wider health policies: 

"Lives in America are already two years shorter than the average in the OECD group of 35 rich and soon-to-be-rich countries: life expectancy is closer to Costa Rica’s and Turkey’s than to that of Britain, France and Germany. If the administration cannot reverse this then—at least when it comes to longevity in the Western world—its policy might be described as America Last."

Given that opioid addictions typically start post-operatively this might be an opportunity for the United States to embrace modern thinking around addiction treatment - and realise that it is simply a public health problem, and choose treatment over a more 'judge and punish' approach which has been the hallmark of many failed 'war on drugs' types of initiatives in recent years. For more data on health and longevity you might pop over Max Roser's 'Our World in Data' - this link takes you to the section on life expectancy. 

 

 

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