Home Medizin In den USA und im Vereinigten Königreich ist die Sterblichkeit im erwerbsfähigen Alter im Vergleich zu Ländern mit hohem Einkommen hoch

In den USA und im Vereinigten Königreich ist die Sterblichkeit im erwerbsfähigen Alter im Vergleich zu Ländern mit hohem Einkommen hoch

von NFI Redaktion

Recent research conducted by the Leverhulme Center for Demographic Science (LCDS) and Princeton University reveals that adults of working age in the USA are dying at higher rates compared to their counterparts in high-income countries. The United Kingdom is also lagging behind. The findings of this study are published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

Using annual mortality data from the World Health Organization Mortality Database, the study compared trends in mid-age adult mortality (ages 25-64) between 1990 and 2019 for 15 leading causes of death in 18 high-income countries including the USA and the UK, and seven countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

The study found significant declines in mid-age adult mortality rates due to all causes, known as overall mortality, in most of these countries over the past three decades. However, the US experienced slower improvements, with recent stagnation and reversals in some age and gender groups. As a result, the US had mortality rates in 2019 that were 2.5 times higher than the average of other high-income countries studied.

The worsening mid-age adult mortality in the US was driven by several factors, including preventable causes such as traffic accidents, homicides, suicides, and drug overdoses. For instance, drug-related deaths in the US increased tenfold between 2000 and 2019 (varying by gender and age group combination), setting it apart from other nations.

„In the last three decades, mid-age adult mortality rates in the US have significantly deteriorated compared to other high-income countries, surpassing mid-age adult mortality rates in Central and Eastern European countries for the 25-44 age group in 2019. This is surprising, considering some of these countries previously had high working-age mortality rates due to the post-socialist crisis of the 1990s.“

Dr. Katarzyna Doniec, corresponding author of the study and postdoctoral fellow at LCDS and the Demographic Science Unit

The study highlights the health disparities facing younger US women aged 25-44, who in 2019 were the only group across the 25 studied countries to exhibit higher mortality rates than in 1990.

Similarly, the UK is falling behind its high-income counterparts, with mid-age adult mortality increasing among those aged 45-54 and stagnating among 25-54-year-olds instead of improving. Canada also saw an increase in mid-age adult mortality among 25-44-year-olds since 2013, while minor increases were observed in men of the same age group in Poland and Sweden, albeit much smaller than in the US.

Although the UK performed relatively well in external causes of death such as suicides, homicides, and traffic accidents, it faced stagnant improvement in cardiovascular disease and cancer, along with a rise in drug-related deaths. The study also found that younger women (25-44) in the UK in 2019 fared worse than their high-income counterparts, except the US and some Central and Eastern European countries.

Professor Jennifer Dowd, lead author and deputy director of LCDS and the Demographic Science Unit, stated, „Our study provides evidence that mortality rates in the UK are increasingly diverging from those in the high-income population, especially among younger women. It will be important to understand the causes of this declining health in the future.“

The study concludes that the decline in mortality seen in other high-income countries implies significant room for improvement in both the US and the UK. The study did not cover the years of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which the life expectancy gap between the US and other high-income countries widened further.


Journal Reference:

Dowd, JB, et al. (2024) US Exceptionalism? International Trends in Mid-Age Mortality. International Journal of Epidemiology. doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyae024.

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