Who's sicker: Older Americans or English?
November 4th, 2010
03:19 PM ET

Who's sicker: Older Americans or English?

If you're 65 or older, you're more likely to be healthier in England than in America. The catch: in the United States, you're more likely to live longer, a new study finds.

Chronic diseases are more common in Americans than English aged 55 to 64, a study in the journal Demography found, and in this age group American and English have about the same death rate. At the same time, Americans 65 and older don't die as fast as the same age group in England, the study authors found.

Why would this be? It seems that if you live into your 70s, the American medical system takes care of you better, said study co-author James Smith of the RAND Corporation.

"In the United States, we have very aggressive medical care and we spend a ton of money on it," he said. "It is very aggressive and we get something out of it: longer lives."

Essentially, says Smith, Americans are "compensating for bad habits." Americans would be better off with eating a healthier diet, exercising more, not smoking, drinking only moderately, and reducing the stress in their lives.

Generally, people in England seem to receive diagnoses of their conditions later in the course of the disease than in the United States, study authors said. Also, chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer result in higher mortality in England than in the United States.

Comparing the United States with England, Smith pointed to the heavier use of screenings such as prostate cancer tests in the United States., and the more frequent and immediate use of surgery when possible cancers are discovered.

Americans in their 70s are also more likely to have conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, heart attack, and cancer than elderly English, the study found. The prevalence of cancer among the 70-somethings surveyed was more than twice as high in the United States, and diabetes rates were nearly twice as high among Americans, too. Older Americans additionally have a higher risk of the onset of a new disease than older English.

Data came from large surveys of people in the United States and England.

The study also looked at the question of whether wealth affects health among survey participants. Smith and colleagues found actually that poor health leads to less wealth, not the other way around.

This was true in both the United States and England. For the United States, researchers looked at 1992 to 2002, a period that saw growing prosperity in the stock market and housing prices. It turns out that the likelihood of death did not depend on changes in wealth during this time.

soundoff (226 Responses)
  1. Jarrett Moffit

    You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me. I'm looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!


    January 15, 2021 at 20:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Melody Corning

    Hello. excellent job. I did not imagine this. This is a remarkable story. Thanks!


    January 17, 2021 at 21:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Joanna Swansen

    Thanks for any other informative web site. The place else may just I get that kind of info written in such an ideal method? I've a undertaking that I'm just now working on, and I have been at the glance out for such information.


    January 21, 2021 at 01:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Cherish

    card games for downloading


    March 2, 2021 at 14:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. zortilo nrel

    I consider something genuinely special in this web site.


    March 21, 2021 at 16:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Edith Tisdel

    medical disposable is going up


    March 30, 2021 at 19:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. bxh bd ha lan

    whoah this blog is excellent i love reading your articles.
    Keep up the great work! You already know, lots of persons are
    hunting round for this info, you could aid them greatly.

    May 13, 2021 at 20:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. xem vtv6

    Thẳng đá BóngttbdTrên băng ghế đào tạo, Lebanon đã bổ nhiệm Ramiro Lopez cách đây 3 tuần. Nhà cầm quân người Tây Ban Nha công ty yếu làm việc trên Ý và từng có thời hạn làm việc trên Kuwait.|Và NHM bóng đá Việt Nam đang được chờ Minh Trí cùng đồng đội hóa giải đối thủ để tạo lợi thế mang đến trận lượt về sau đây hai ngày. Chelsea đã phải trải qua 8 phút bù giờ không thở được đảm bảo thành công.


    June 12, 2021 at 04:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. buy weed

    Thanks for the blog.Much thanks again. Great.


    June 29, 2021 at 18:40 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.