The United States is among the wealthiest nations in the world, but it is far from the healthiest. Although life expectancy and survival rates in the United States have improved dramatically over the past century, Americans live shorter lives and experience more injuries and illnesses than people in other high-income countries. The U.S. health disadvantage cannot be attributed solely to the adverse health status of racial or ethnic minorities or poor people: even highly advantaged Americans are in worse health than their counterparts in other, "peer" countries.
In light of the new and growing evidence about the U.S. health disadvantage, the National Institutes of Health asked the National Research Council (NRC) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to convene a panel of experts to study the issue. The Panel on Understanding Cross-National Health Differences Among High-Income Countries examined whether the U.S. health disadvantage exists across the life span, considered potential explanations, and assessed the larger implications of the findings.
U.S. Health in International Perspective presents detailed evidence on the issue, explores the possible explanations for the shorter and less healthy lives of Americans than those of people in comparable countries, and recommends actions by both government and nongovernment agencies and organizations to address the U.S. health disadvantage.
Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. 2013. U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/13497.
|Part I: Documenting the U.S. Health Disadvantage||21-24|
|1 Shorter Lives||25-56|
|2 Poorer Health Throughout Life||57-90|
|Part II: Explaining the U.S. Health Disadvantage||91-94|
|3 Framing the Question||95-105|
|4 Public Health and Medical Care Systems||106-137|
|5 Individual Behaviors||138-160|
|6 Social Factors||161-191|
|7 Physical and Social Environmental Factors||192-206|
|8 Policies and Social Values||207-238|
|Part III: Future Directions for Understanding the U.S. Health Disadvantage||239-240|
|9 Research Agenda||241-272|
|10 Next Steps||273-291|
|References and Bibliography||292-344|
|Appendix A: Recommendations of the National Prevention Council and Evidence Cited in Its Report||347-374|
|Appendix B: Biographical Sketches of Panel Members and Staff||375-378|
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