Did you know that one of the important measures of the quality of a country's healthcare system is the median life expectancy of its population? The CDC website lists a recent measure of US life expectancy as 78.8 years (look here) which puts us usually around 34th, often right near Slovenia (look here). Many elements go into this statistic, clearly, yet it makes us wonder exactly why we perform this way. New data reveal how gun violence, motor vehicle collisions, & drug overdoses are responsible for much of the disparity...at least among males across different countries. (Original study here.) Remember, a tool called the QALY helps direct us toward interventions that create additional, high quality years of life for patients. Given these recent data it's no surprise the trauma surgery has the ability to greatly improve QALYs as it often addresses patients claimed by some of the conditions beneath. (Excerpt from a Harvard health blog beneath.)
A new study has identified three reasons that the United States is not at the top of the heap when it comes to longevity. They include: motor vehicle accidents drug overdoses gun violence. These are so much more common here and affect so many young people that they’re enough to account for about half of the difference in male life expectancy between the U.S. and other top-ranked countries. These causes of death account for about 20% of the difference for women. These findings surprised me [harvard blog entry author], especially when I learned that these three causes of death account for only 4% of all deaths each year. But they have a big impact on life expectancy because they tend to affect people who are so young.