Study: US tops France, Germany, UK in 'potentially preventable' deaths
This story was republished courtesy of Kaiser Health News.
August 30, 2012 -- Americans younger than 65 are more likely to die from a lack of timely healthcare than their peers in France, Germany or the United Kingdom, according to a new study.
Research published in Health Affairs looked at the rate of "potentially preventable" deaths — deaths before age 75 that could be avoided with timely and effective healthcare — and found that the United States lags behind its U.K. and European peers.
The United States was also less effective than France, Germany and the United Kingdom in remedying the problem between 1999 and 2007, study authors wrote.
The research was sponsored by the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit research foundation.
"Despite spending about twice as much per person each year on healthcare as France, Germany or the U.K. ... the U.S. is increasingly falling behind these countries in terms of progress in lowering the potentially preventable death rate,” said Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis in a statement.
Davis went on to praise the Affordable Care Act for "beginning to close the gaps in access to care" in the United States.
Overall, the potentially preventable death rate for U.S. men under age 65 was 69 per 100,000 compared with 53 in the United Kingdom, 50 in Germany and 37 in France by 2007.
Figures tended to be lower for women, though the United States still came in last: by 2007, there were 56 per 100,000 potentially preventable deaths among women in the United States compared with 46 in the United Kingdom, 40 in Germany and 34 in France.
Authors of the study also used their conclusions to back universal healthcare for the United States.
"These findings strengthen the case for reforms that will enable all Americans to receive timely and effective healthcare,” said Ellen Nolte, director of Health and Healthcare at RAND Europe and a lead author of the study.