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A study of 19 industrialized nations ranked the United States worst in preventable death statistics. The report is published in this months issue Health Affairs and compares trends from 1997-8 and 2002-3 of people under 75 years of age whose deaths were classified as “amenable to health care,” or preventable with appropriate health care. The study shows the United states falling well behind the curve of improvement shown by other countries.

On average over the period studied nations showed a 16 percent decrease in preventable deaths. Over the same period the U.S. showed only a 4 percent decrease. France showed the greatest improvement with Japan and Australia following closely behind.

Study authors pointed out that the decline amenable mortality coincides with an increase in the uninsured population. This is an issue that has gotten much more attention recently and will be a driving force behind the selection of our next President.

“While no one country provides a perfect model of care, there are many lessons to be learned from the strategies at work abroad.”

For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Drugs, Medical Devices and Implants.

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