U.S. life expectancy gap blamed on guns, drugs, car crashes
Guns, drugs and motor vehicle crashes account for half the life-expectancy gap between men in the United States and other high-income countries, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
For years, it’s been known that U.S. life expectancy trails that of people in other high-income countries, despite the fact that the U.S. spends more on health care per person than any other nation in the world. American men die at 76 years of age and American women at 81, about 2.2 years earlier than their counterparts in a dozen other high-income countries, according to 2012 data. Efforts to understand why have often focused on chronic disease, obesity, smoking or access to health care — traditional health issues that might trim years off Americans’ lives compared with others.