Men living in the United States are far sicker than men in similarly wealthy countries, a new report has found. Among other things, American men are more likely to die early from preventable causes than those living in 10 other countries, including Canada, Australia, and the UK. Financially struggling men also tended to be worse off in the U.S. than elsewhere.
The new report is the latest in a series by the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit organization focused on health care reform. These reports analyze publicly available data on health outcomes as well as surveys conducted by the organization. And they typically compare the U.S. to its high-income peer countries, with the latest comparisons including Norway, the Netherlands, Australia, the UK, Germany, Canada, New Zealand, France, and Sweden.
Last year, they ranked the U.S. dead last across most health care metrics, including in life expectancy past age 60. In April, another comparison report found that American women of reproductive age were the most likely to die from preventable causes, including during or soon after pregnancy, and they were also the most likely to have trouble paying their medical bills or to avoid seeing doctors over healthcare costs. Unfortunately, the picture isn’t looking any rosier for American men.About the only category where American men are faring better than their peers was with prostate cancer. The mortality rate of prostate cancer was actually lower in the U.S. than in any other nation. But aside from that, men in the U.S. have got the short end of the health stick, the report authors say, despite the country having more resources than others.
One clear factor for this disparity is that the U.S. does not guarantee universal health care coverage to its residents, the authors note. Many of the best-performing countries have also established some form of a single-payer system, where costs are primarily covered by the government, which is in turn funded by taxes.