From the BBC NEWS 9 March 2011:
England 'healthier than the US'By Michelle Roberts
Health reporter, BBC News
Expanding waistlines in the UK have not closed the transatlantic health gap
People living in England enjoy better health than Americans, despite less investment in healthcare, research published in the US has revealed.
Across all ages, US residents tend to fare worse in terms of diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease markers, data on over 100,000 people show.
The reason remains a mystery, says the US team, and challenges the idea that resources necessarily improve health.
It may be due to the UK's bigger drive on health prevention, they say.
Transatlantic health gap
Despite the greater use of health care technology in the US, Americans receive less preventive health care than their English counterparts.
They have fewer physician consultations per year.
Acute hospital visits are also shorter in the US, potentially resulting in missed opportunities for follow-up, say the report authors in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
“Why health status differs so dramatically in these two countries, which share much in terms of history and culture, is an unresolved puzzle”
Dr Melissa Martinson and colleagues
It is also possible that differences in social or environmental conditions or lifestyle play a role.
But despite looking, the researchers did not find any real evidence that differences in obesity, alcohol consumption or physical activity were to blame.
Smoking may be a factor, but Dr Melissa Martinson and colleagues doubt it because even younger Americans who have not yet been exposed to decades of tobacco smoke appear to be in worse health than English counterparts.
And although a larger share of Americans are uninsured or underinsured compared to populations in England or other European countries, even groups with good access to health insurance experienced worse health than people in England.
The researchers say: "Why health status differs so dramatically in these two countries, which share much in terms of history and culture, is an unresolved puzzle.
"Given our finding of health differences between the US and England at young ages, a promising focus of future research - one that could help to elucidate the causes of poor health across the life course - is on health differences between countries at the earliest ages."
Public health experts suggested more generous holiday entitlements and more favourable working conditions in the UK might also play a part."
Under the capitalist Health system operated in the US no-one has any financial gain to make from preventative health education. The UK Government funds almost all UK health care, and so there is a financial advantage to the UK government in promoting preventative health education.
So socialist/socialised medicine is cheaper to run than the American system AND generates better results.
I'll be interested to see if the Right can accept objective fact when it doesn't suit them.
Hmm, this is quite a sweeping generalization. Firstly I'd like to know where the basis for the supposition that young brits smoke less than young Americans - I sincerely doubt this. Free health care is a factor, but the UK is fast catching up with the US in the obesity stakes. I'm all for socialised medicine, but you are unlikely to put forward a strong case to the right unless the figures are a bit more robust. As this is all about research, what is missing is a 'control' country to campare. Other European countries should also be looked at, not just the UK.
Because we in the US have a healthcare system that is based on the "fee for service model," there is no real emphasis placed on health maintenance. And of course, this is the antithesis of what a sane system would promote if it was indeed interested in preventing future, catastrophic illness. In other words, our system is based on what a service provider can bill a private insurer once the cat is out of the bag and no so much on the lifetime maintenance of health.
And there is no "profit" in routine health maintenance; all the money comes from the high-priced tests and procedures once everything has gone awry.
I don't know what life and stress are like for most people in England, but I'm convinced stress is the cause of the vast majority of health problems in the US.
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