But we have better teeth

NPR reports on comparative health on both sides of the Atlantic:

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association comes to a conclusion that has surprised even the researchers who conducted it. Middle-aged whites in England are significantly healthier than middle-aged whites in the United States. That's despite the fact that the United States spends twice as much per person on health care.

In the categories of diabetes, blood pressure and cancer, England's poorest citizens -- those in the lowest one-third of income levels -- did better than the richest one-third of Americans.

But why? Smith says everyone on the research team has a favorite hypothesis, including childhood health conditions, stress and obesity. But they all agree on the factors that aren't causing the discrepancy.

It's not the different health systems. With its higher health-care expenditures and greater availability of technology, the United States should score better, not worse.

It's not smoking; rates are about the same in the United States and England.

And the American obesity epidemic only explains some of the discrepancy. Whites in England are getting fatter, but they may have been thinner than their American counterparts when they were children.

Researchers are doing a new study on what is causing the difference. Some researchers have suggested that a factor called social isolation is at play.

"We have many people working an enormous number of hours," says Lisa Berkman, a social epidemiologist with Harvard University. "But they also have no time to take care of themselves or their families, as well as maintain a certain kind of community or neighborhood or set of ties."
Sorry, NPR crams their stories full of information and if Ihad taken any less, the point wouldn't have been as good.

I'm not going to venture any guesses as to why we're sicker than the British except that 5 years of BushCo is enough to make anybody sick.

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