Why Life Expectancy for Older U.S. Women Is Falling Below That of Other Developed Nations

The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College has issued a new report that shows that life expectancy for women at the age of 65 in the United States is falling relative to that of other prosperous nations. Life expectancy for women in the United States who have reached the age of 65 is now among the lowest of the world’s most developed nations.

In 2016, 65-year-old women in the United States can expect to live another 19.4 years. This is three years less than for women in France and two years less than women in Spain, Italy, and Japan.

The authors note that “the life expectancy gap between the United States and other countries is surprising given that this country spends more on health care both absolutely and as a percentage of gross domestic product than any other country in the world.”

In examining the data, the authors found that women in the United States we more likely to have smoked and were more likely to be obese. Both are major risk factors for stroke. The report states that “the United States showed much less improvement than its peers in deaths from stroke and other circulatory diseases. The negative effects from rising levels of obesity have surpassed the positive effects from cessation of smoking.”

The full report, Why Has U.S. Life Expectancy Fallen Below Other Countries, may be downloaded by clicking here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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