Preventive Health Care: U.S. Is Dead Last Among Industrialized Nations

“Amenable mortality” is a body count of unnecessary deaths due to lack of preventive health care. The latest measure is not flattering to the American health care system.

Researchers count these deaths by looking at premature deaths in areas like these:

* Adults who die from breast or colon cancer before age 75, indicating lack of timely mammograms or colon screens or care.
* Children who die before age 14 from vaccine-preventable or easily treatable illnesses such as coughs, measles, asthma, and other respiratory problems.
* Diabetics who die before age 50 from complications that could easily have been prevented with proper medical management.
* People who die from infections or hypertension before age 75, a symptom of lack of preventative and appropriate care, including blood pressure control.

In the mid-1990s, the U.S. ranked 15th out of 19 industrialized nations in its death rate from “amenable mortality.” Now the figures have been updated, and America is in last place — 19th out of the same 19.

France, Japan and Australia do the best in this ranking. The United Kingdom used to be worse than the U.S. but has gotten a lot better.

Consumer Reports has a chart of the latest data here.

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