Children More Likely to Die in the U.S. Than Similar Countries

Often times you will hear the stance that the United States has the best healthcare in the world, but a recent study published in the journal Health Affairs suggests otherwise.

Researchers examined deaths between 1961 and 2010 and discovered that childhood mortality has been higher since the 1980s in all 19 peer nations: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Meaning, more kids are dying in the U.S. than in similar nations.

Researchers note in the study that childhood mortality rate declined gradually during the period examined, which is a success for public health. However; researchers stress the US rate fell at a slower pace than comparable nations over the 50-year time span.

The mortality rate in the United States was about 76% higher for infants and about 57% higher for children ages 1 to 19 than the average rate for the other countries included in the study.

Officials explain in the report the causes for babies in the US include premature births and SIDS, and for teens, the main cause is due to injuries.

A staggering note included in the study is that children ages 15-19 in the US are 82 times more likely to die from gun violence than in any other wealthy, democratic nation.

When considering a possible solution, researchers noted policy interventions should focus on infants and on children ages 15-19, the two age groups with the greatest disparities, by addressing the perinatal cause of death, automobile accidents and assaults by firearm.

Michaela Madison Reporting

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