611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

member support line
M-F 5pm-8pm
24/7 weekends/holidays

AzCH Nurse Assist Line


611 W. Union Street
Benson, AZ 85602
(520) 586-0800

AzCH Nurse Assist Line


powered by centersite dot net
Medical Disorders
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
Is Rise in Liver Damage Tied to More Drinking During Lockdowns?Bike-Linked Head Injuries Plummet for U.S. Kids, But Not AdultsDialysis Patients Have Weaker Response to COVID Vaccine: StudyWith New Mask Guidance Comes the Challenge of Following ItWeight-Loss Surgery Might Also Help Prevent CataractsAHA News: What to Tell Your Young Teen About Their Shot at the COVID-19 VaccineWhat Works Best to Ease Recurrent Ear Infections in Kids?Mixing COVID Vaccines Might Raise Odds for Minor Reactions: StudyCOVID More Lethal for People Living With HIVNew Drug Shows Promise Against Tough-to-Manage AsthmaFully Vaccinated Can Shed Masks in Most Outdoor, Indoor Settings: CDCAHA News: 5 Things to Know About Blood Pressure Before It's a ProblemModerna Vaccine Can Trigger Red, Itchy 'COVID Arm,' But It's TemporaryCould a Vaccine Against Future Pandemics Be on the Way?Debunking Social Media Myth, Study Finds COVID Vaccine Won't Harm PlacentaU.S. Seniors Are Getting Fewer Abdominal SurgeriesMost Severe COVID Cases Involve Neuro Issues, and They're More Often FatalAny COVID-19 Infection Raises Odds for Lingering Symptoms, Study FindsNew Insights Into Treating Mild Head InjuriesAlcohol Is No Friend to Social DistancingGene-Targeted Drug Shows Promise Against a Form of Pancreatic CancerFDA Approves Emergency Use of Pfizer Vaccine for Those Aged 12 to 15Ibuprofen, Similar Painkillers Won't Raise Risks for COVID PatientsObesity Raises Odds for Many Common CancersAsthma Attacks Plummeted During PandemicWhy Sleep Raises Risk for Sudden Death in People With EpilepsyLockdown Loneliness Making Things Even Tougher for Cancer PatientsCOVID Vaccines May Still Leave Organ Transplant Recipients UnprotectedPfizer, Moderna or J&J? An Expert Answers Your QuestionsHow Summer Camps Can Shield Your Kids from Allergies, Asthma & COVIDCould Your Child Have a Heart Defect? Know the Warning SignsGene Tied to Balding May Also Raise COVID Risks for MenTime Spent in ICU Linked to Higher Odds for Suicide LaterState of Mind Matters for Survival After Heart AttackFailing Kidneys Could Bring Higher Dementia RiskAir Pollution Can Harm Kids' Hearts for a LifetimePoll Finds Many Parents Hesitant to Get Younger Kids VaccinatedObesity More Deadly for Men Than Women When COVID StrikesIsrael Study: Pfizer Vaccine Gives 95% Protection Against Illness, Hospitalization & DeathReal-World Studies Show Pfizer Vaccine Shields Against COVID Variants1 in 4 U.S. Teens Has Had a Concussion: StudyWhat's the Right Amount of Sleep for a Healthy Heart?U.S. COVID Outlook Shows Big Improvement by July'Prediabetes' Raises Odds for Heart Attack, StrokeA Vitamin Could Be Key to Women's Pain After Knee ReplacementBiden Sets New Goal of Vaccinating 70% of Americans by July 4Wildfires Are Changing the Seasonal Air Quality of the U.S. WestMany Americans Wrong About Sun's Skin Cancer Dangers: PollNot Just About Antibodies: Why mRNA COVID Vaccines May Shield From VariantsYou Got Your COVID Shot: What to Do With That Vaccine Card
Questions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Men's Health
Women's Health

Even Before COVID, Many More People Died Early in U.S. Versus Europe

HealthDay News
by By Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Apr 15th 2021

new article illustration

THURSDAY, April 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Americans were living shorter lives and dying at a significantly higher rate than the citizens of wealthy European countries even before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, a new study reports.

The United States suffered more than 400,000 excess deaths in 2017 alone, pre-COVID, compared to the combined populations of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, England and Wales, said senior researcher Samuel Preston, a professor of sociology with the University of Pennsylvania Population Studies Center, in Philadelphia.

By this measure, about one in seven U.S. deaths that occurred in 2017 was in excess of the European death rate, the researchers said.

Lifestyle choices — from overeating to smoking and drug use — play a major role in the divide.

There's been a particularly sharp increase in U.S. deaths among younger adults, resulting in more lives needlessly cut short, Preston and his colleague found.

Americans aged 30 years were three times more likely to die in 2017 than their European counterparts, the findings showed.

"It's a numerical exercise that I think puts in rather bold relief the fact that we are dying at rates that are really much higher than they ought to be, and that's before COVID," Preston said.

In fact, U.S. COVID-19 deaths actually pale in comparison to those lost needlessly to other factors, the study authors argue.

About 376,000 Americans died from COVID-19 in 2020, fewer than the estimated 401,000 excess deaths that occurred in the United States in 2017, the researchers said.

Overall, the United States has experienced a 65% increase in years of life lost to excess deaths since 2000, the study concluded.

The United States experienced about 13 million years of life lost to excess deaths in 2017, compared with about 7.9 million years of life lost in 2000.

By comparison, there were about 4.4 million years of expected life lost to COVID-19 deaths in 2020, taking into account the age of those who died.

Experts chalk up excess U.S. deaths to a host of problems with which Americans struggle, chief among them obesity.

"In this country, we have a third of children who are obese," said Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist with Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. "We've had an obesity epidemic in this country for decades, and when you look at obesity and what it causes — heart disease, diabetes, a host of problems, even cancer — there's a high mortality just from obesity alone.

"While they didn't compare BMI [body mass index] generally speaking as to the U.S. versus Europeans, I think it's pretty widely known that Europeans have a more fit, lower BMI population than we do," Horovitz continued.

The U.S. opioid crisis and its deadly drug overdoses are another factor, Preston added, as are the higher suicide and homicide rates among Americans.

Smoking likely also continues to blunt life expectancy in America, Preston said.

The United States for many years had the highest level of smoking among major countries, Preston noted. "That is fortunately no longer the case, but you can see evidence among older women in particular," he said. "Women were later to start than men, and older women are still suffering from high rates of lung cancer and emphysema, and other diseases associated with smoking."

Most of these deaths are due to personal choices, and the United States will need to get to the root of these problems if it wants to reverse course, Preston said.

"We probably don't need many more studies of how poorly we're doing. Life expectancy trends in the U.S. have been unattractive since 2010, with very little improvement at all," Preston said. "What we need to do is identify clearly the causes of death and the disease processes that is producing this excess mortality, and work much harder to try to reduce them."

The study was published in the April 20 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about U.S. life expectancy.

SOURCES: Samuel Preston, PhD, professor, sociology, University of Pennsylvania Population Studies Center, Philadelphia; Len Horovitz, MD, pulmonary specialist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, April 20, 2021, online