Life Expectancy Decreases in US

May 19, 2010 by  
Filed under health

The researchers were among two dozen USC faculty who spoke at the April 20 conference, “What’s Hot in Aging Research at USC: Interdisciplinary Perspectives,” hosted by the USC Davis School of Gerontology and the Office of the Vice Provost for Research Advancement. 

Demographer Eileen Crimmins warned that the U.S. is falling behind other developed countries.

“Life expectancy is low in the U.S. and has been getting worse, relative to other countries like us. For a country that is the richest in the world and spends the most on health care, you might think that we’d do a little better,” Crimmins said.

World leaders in life expectancy include Japan, France, Switzerland, Spain and Italy.

Health care reform will help slightly, Crimmins said. Smoking, obesity, economic disparity and other deep cultural problems have a greater impact on life span. More than health care reform, the nation needs health reform, Crimmins told the nearly full auditorium at the Andrus Gerontology Center.

According to Crimmins, one of the biggest influences on life span is the inequality in health and mortality between the top and bottom of society, which is greater than in other countries.“People who are poor and have low education live different lives,” she said, regardless of their race.

Crimmins’ frequent collaborator, University Professor and neurobiologist Caleb Finch, described a future in which most people will lead less healthy lives than the wealthy few, due to rising health care costs and uneven environmental conditions. His current research studies possible links between air quality and brain development.
“There are very powerful counter longevity forces that are building. Future benefits of longevity may be limited to a very small privileged group of people,” he said.

However, you can make a difference in your own life, no matter who you are. 50% of the factors that influence your own life span, is your own behavior, according to Walter Bortz, MD, a clinical associate professor of medicine at Stanford University. Please read “Tips on how to be 100” These are very simple tips we all can learn from.

We need to examine the current data coming out of the Universities and learn from what they are telling us.

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One Response to “Life Expectancy Decreases in US”
  1. Phil McMillan says:

    I’ll take door #2 for 100 please…

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