U.S. Standardized Life Expectancy Highest in OECD
Two University of Iowa researchers, Robert L. Ohsfeldt and John E. Schneider, reviewed the data for the nations of the OECD to statistically account for the incidence of fatal injuries for the member countries. The dynamic table above presents their findings, showing both the average life expectancy from birth over the years 1980 to 1999 without any adjustment (the actual "raw" mean), and again after accounting for the effects of premature death resulting from a non-health-related fatal injury (the standardized mean).
Without accounting for the incidence of fatal injuries, the United States ties for 14th of the 16 OECD nations listed. But once fatal injuries are taken into account, U.S. "natural" life expectancy from birth (76.9 years) ranks first among the richest nations of the world.
source (chart and text)
I think this information is moderately interesting but of limited importance. Here is the reason for presenting it:
This low ranking in life expectancy(raw data) is often pointed to as being the result of the deficiencies of the health care system in the U.S. The problem with this thinking however is that it does not account for the fact that the U.S. has a disproportionate number of individuals who die as the result of fatal injuries compared to the other wealthy nations of the world. This does not reflect upon the quality of health care in the U.S., in that these events almost universally occur independently of the condition of health of the individuals who die as a result of these factors.
If you've sorted the data in the dynamic table, you find that without accounting for the incidence of fatal injuries, the United States ties for 14th of the 16 nations listed. But once fatal injuries are taken into account, U.S. "natural" life expectancy from birth ranks first among the richest nations of the world.Many factors effect life expectancy that have nothing to do with health care or insurance coverage. Please don't use that line of reasoning in policy discussions and don't let anyone else get away with such nonsense.