QUALITY: Middle-Aged Americans Sicker Than British

Says here that Middle-Aged Americans are Sicker Than British. . Apparently at every class strata it’s true:

A higher rate of Americans tested positive for diabetes and heart disease than the British. Americans also self-reported more diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, lung disease and cancer. The gap between countries holds true for educated and uneducated, rich and poor. “At every point in the social hierarchy there is more illness in the United States than in England and the differences are really dramatic,” said study co-author Dr. Michael Marmot, an epidemiologist at University College London in England.

Part of the problem is that Americans don’t binge drink enough…at least I’ve always thought so and I think that’s what they’re saying here:

Britons have a higher rate of heavy drinking, but a higher percentage of Americans are obese.The researchers crunched numbers to create a hypothetical statistical world in which the English had Americans’ lifestyle risk factors. In that model, in which the English were as fat as the Americans, the researchers found Americans still would be sicker.

And the quasi-racist crap that certain Canada bashers put out about US outcomes being worse because of all our minorities—who have the temerity to be both poor and dark-sinned—skewing the numbers is also put to the statistical sword:

The new study showed that when minorities are removed from the equation, and adjustments are made to control for education and income, white people in England are still healthier than white people in the United States.

Now there’s a lot of pap in the article about how the US spends twice as much per capita as the Brits on health care and how come the results are so bad.  But as anyone reading THCB knows health and health care are only tangentially related, and you certainly shouldn’t expect a causal correlation between spending on one and good results in the other.

On the other hand this does raise a crucial question that’s very important to an extremely local audience for THCB. As I was born and lived in the UK for 26 years and have lived here for 17. So am I as healthy as a Yank or a Limey?

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  1. Maybe we should introduce the Brits and Canuks to HSA’s. Then we could all be as sick as each other. Kinda like a free trade level playing field. I guess all that waiting for care makes people less sick. Maybe by the time they see the doc they’re better. People that don’t know Canada as a country of minority immigrants should go there some time. Walk the streets of Toronto and you will see far more diversity than most U.S. cities. We have our poor, but they can see a doc any time they want.