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Americans sicker than the English say scientists

By Colin Ricketts - 09 Mar 2011 19:16:1 GMT
Americans sicker than the English say scientists

America spends more on healthcare than England, but the English are in better health according to a new study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Using data from two national surveys, researchers looked at a number of chronic conditions and signs of ill health from cradle to grave.

''A systematic assessment of cross-country differences in health by age group and type of condition provides necessary context for learning about why older residents of England suffer fewer chronic health conditions than their counterparts in the US,'' said Melissa L. Martinson, Office of Population Research, Princeton University.

Health conditions, which hit Americans more than the English included: obesity, diabetes, low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, high cholesterol ratio, and high C-reactive protein. Americans were also more likely to self-report health problems.

The only condition in which the English were as poorly off as the Americans, was hypertension.

Sadly, while the researchers have been able to identify a difference in health, they are largely at a loss when it comes to the big question: Why?

It is possible, however, that the emphasis on preventative measures in England is paying dividends as are longer hospital stays when a problem does occur. Lifestyle and environmental factors may also have a role to play say the researchers.