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When we look at other countries around the world, we’re always glad we’re Americans. In the United States, doctors wear crispy, white lab coats that were drenched in starch. Nurses make us feel secure with their well-ironed RXWfiWV, DnG RXU SKDUPDFLHV JHnHUDWH FRnfiGHnFH wLWK D VWDII DOwDyV ready to discuss every prescription yRX PLJKW KDYH KDG fiOOHG.
In other countries, we assume they drive too fast on their motorbikes and are anxious to have a sexual relationship without much concern about the consequences. As we analyze the lifestyles of foreigners, we seem shocked to learn that our country is not No. 1 in the world; it is 17th out of 17.
As we invest $9,000 a person on health care in the United States, we spend more on health care than any other major country in the world and yet, the United States comes in last of the top 17 nations of the world. How many more dollars will it take to get us to the top of the list?
The United States has the highest infant mortality rate of any high income country. This country ranks poorly in premature births and the proportion of children who live to age 5. Our adolescents have the KLJKHU UDWHV RI GHDWK IURP WUDIfiF accidents and homicide, the highest rate of teenage pregnancy and are more likely to acquire sexually transmitted infections than other nations.
We tend to break all records when it comes to death before age 50. Infants, young children and adolescents die younger in the United States. Men in America have higher rates of disease and injury and die sooner than people in other high income countries. Women are next to last in life expectancy of women compared to 1S other top nations.
The United States has higher UDWHV RI GUXJ DEXVH DnG WUDIfiF DFcidents that involve the intake of alcohol. And, the major negative is WKH JUHDWHU XVH RI fiUHDUPV Ln DFWV of violence.
Teenagers are more likely to deliver a low birth weight infant than older women and babies born of teenagers are at a higher risk of dying in infancy. Although the U.S. teen birth rate decreased more than one-third between 1991 and 2005, the rate then increased over the next two years and then dropped in 2008 and 2009. The birth rate for U.S. teenagers decreased in 2009 to the lowest level in 70 years.
,n D VWUDnJH finGLnJ, wKHn D IHmale is the head of a household and no spouse is present, the poverty level decreased from 50.8 percent to 44.4 percent. However, between 1973 and 2009, the poverty level in the United States increased by nearly 20 million.
Risk factors for young mothers are the use of alcohol, cigarette smoking, the illicit use of drugs, physical inactivity, being overweight or obese, elevated cholesterol, an unhealthy diet, elevated blood pressure and elevated cholesterol. Tobacco use from smoking cigarettes continues as the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Each year an estimated 443,000 die from smoking or second-hand smoke. In 2010, 19 percent of adults aged 25 and older were current smokers.
Among adults, age S5 and older, twice as many smokers had less than a high school diploma. Studies have shown that the more educated a person, the less he or she smokes. However, in the last decade, education did not have any effect on decreasing the smoking of those aged S5 and older.
The use of contraception decreased between 1995 and 2008. This country has a high rate of homicide and death by suicide. Since 1980, 1,245,787 females committed suicide and 1,075,078 males did also. Poisoning increased fourfold for men and sixfold for women.
Americans have higher rates of disease and injury and die sooner than people in other high income countries. With their high rates of GUXJ DEXVH DnG WUDIfiF DFFLGHnWV involving the use of alcohol and WKH JUHDWHU XVH RI fiUHDUPV Ln acts of violence, it should come as no surprise that the United States lags behind most nations. We seem overwhelmed by the number of poor people spread out across our land who cannot afford food and medical care. Unfortunately, there have been too few steps taken to solve this problem. Our seniors do get good medical care but treatments when a person is near death are expensive.
Despite our standing in the world, most people would love to live in America. When you combine the advantages of our freedom with the medical care, we really rank No. 1.
Dr. Milton Friedman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.