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U.S. Life Expectancy Falls Behind That of Other Developed Nations. Why?

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 (SeventyFour via iStock)

Life expectancy rates in the United States have been falling for some time even though the country has one of the highest standards of living on the planet.  According to a recent column in the Financial Times, what’s really mind blowing is how those declines compare with other industrialized nations like Britain. The average American can expect to live to age 65 – a life expectancy similar to the poorest people in England. One key difference: more Americans are dying young due in part to rising opioid use, car accidents, and gun violence.  We’ll talk about why Americans fare so much worse than people in other developed countries and what can be done to help more people live longer.


Dr. Tony Iton, senior vice president of Healthy Communities, The California Endowment - lecturer, Health Policy & Management, UC Berkeley School of Public Health; former director, Alameda County Public Health Department

John Burn-Murdoch, columnist, Financial Times

Jessica Y. Ho, associate professor of Sociology and Demography, The Pennsylvania State University


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