The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Average U.S. Life Expectancy Drops

Mar 6, 2017

Life expectancy will continue to climb substantially for residents of most industrialized nations. Not so in the United States, according to a scientific study published by the Lancet, a leading medical journal.

South Korean women will be expected to live to an average of 90 years old by 2030, when human beings would break the 90-year barrier for the first time. The reason is that “South Korea has a remarkable investment in early childhood nutrition, and has been taking advantage of medical advances and technology across its population and has some of the world's lowest obesity and hypertension rates.”

In December 2016, the U.S. government reported that the U.S. life expectancy had declined in 2015 for the first time since 1993, in agreement with the scientific study.

The main reasons for the decline in the U.S. is that this country has the highest infant and maternal mortality rates as well as the highest obesity rates (a marker for bad nutrition). The U.S. is the only one without universal health insurance coverage and has the “largest share of unmet health-care needs due to financial costs,” the researchers wrote. In the U.S., people have bad nutrition and health education at the beginning of their lives, and later, during their adult lives, get diagnosed too little and too late due to lack of universal medical care.

The U.S. has superb medical technology and treatment quality according to these researchers. However, not all have access to this superb treatment. “If you have good insurance and you live on the East Coast and the West Coast, you probably get the best health care in the world,” concluded the scientists.

That is, if you are rich you can get good health care and live long, while working class life expectancy is lowered by the vast inequities of the U.S. health care system.