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Improvements Noted in U.S. Health From 1990 to 2010

WEDNESDAY, July 10 (HealthDay News) -- From 1990 to 2010, considerable progress has been made in improving health in the United States, according to a report published online July 10 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Christopher J.L. Murray, M.D., D.Phil., from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle, and colleagues from the U.S. Burden of Disease Collaborators describe the health status of the United States and compare U.S. health outcomes with those of the 34 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCED) countries.

The researchers found that, from 1990 to 2010, life expectancy increased from 75.2 to 78.2 years, and healthy life expectancy (HALE) increased from 65.8 to 68.1 years during the same period. In 2010, the diseases and injuries with the largest number of years of life lost due to premature mortality were ischemic heart disease, lung cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and road injury; the diseases with the largest number of years lived with disability included low back pain, major depressive disorder, other musculoskeletal disorders, neck pain, and anxiety disorders. From 1990 to 2010, among the OCED countries, the U.S. ranks changed from 18th to 27th for the age-standardized death rate, from 20th to 27th for life expectancy at birth, and from 14th to 26th for HALE.

"From 1990 to 2010, the United States made substantial progress in improving health," the authors write. "However, morbidity and chronic disability now account for nearly half of the U.S. health burden, and improvements in population health in the United States have not kept pace with advances in population health in other wealthy nations."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical, medical technology, and nutrition industries.

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