Friday, April 30, 2010

Canadians healthier, outliving Americans

Canadians tend to lead longer, healthier lives than Americans on average, say researchers who point to lack of universal health care in the U.S. as one reason. The study in the online issue in BioMed Central's journal Population Health Metrics was based on data from the 2002-03 Joint Canada/United States Survey of Health, which offered comparable data on the health of the population in both countries. David Feeny, a dual Canadian/U.S. citizen and investigator at the Center for Health Research at Kaiser Permanente Northwest in Portland, Ore., and his U.S. colleagues calculated health-adjusted life expectancy, which takes into account not only mortality risk but also the health-related quality of life, such as being free of disability. The study's authors found a 19-year-old in Canada could expect to enjoy 2.7 more years of perfect health than a 19-year-old in the U.S. In this case, someone in perfect health would have a top score of 1.00 on the Health Utilities Index Mark 3.

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