Canadians Live Longer, Healthier Than U.S.

PORTLAND, Ore., April 29 (UPI) — Canadians can expect to enjoy 2.7 more years of “perfect health” than Americans, a U.S. researcher says.

David Feeny of Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore., and colleagues studied data from the Joint Canada/United States Survey of Health


2002/2003.

“Canada and the United States share a common border and enjoy very similar standards of living, yet life expectancy in Canada is higher than in the United States,” Feeny says in a statement. “There are two distinct potential explanations for the gap — differences in access to healthcare and in the prevalence of poverty.”

The Canadians universal prenatal-to-grave healthcare is free, while Americans’ access to health insurance is typically based on employment, income through Medicaid or age through Medicare, Feeny says.

“The difference in health between the two countries seems to be associated with substantial differences in access to care as well as substantial differences in social and economic inequality,” Feeny says.

The findings are published in the journal Population Health Metrics.

A ranking of countries for life expectancy by the United Nations for 2005 to 2010 places Canada 11th with life expectancy overall at age 80.7 — men 78.3 and women 82.9. The United States ranks 38th with overall life expectancy at age 78.2 — men 75.6 and 80.8 women.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in 2009 that using data from death certificates, U.S. life expectancy reached 77.9 in 2007, up from 77.7 in 2006 — 75.3 men and 80.4 women.

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