The UK and US are the only western countries where life expectancy is falling

Researchers looked at 17 high income countries to evaluate trends in national mortality.

In the UK there has been a drop of a few months in life expectancy for both men and women over the age of 65. Degenerative diseases were the main cause such as respiratory disease, circulatory disease, Alzheimer’s disease, nervous system disease and mental disorders.

In the USA drug overdoses were responsible for the decline in life expectancy.

The study looked at mortality between 2014 and 2015. A sixty five year old in the UK at that time would have been born in 1950, after the start of the NHS.

We will need to wait to see if this trend will reverse or not.

British Medical Journal. UK life expectancy drops while other western countries improve. National Health Services. 2018 August 16.

5 thoughts on “The UK and US are the only western countries where life expectancy is falling”

  1. I happened to be in the audience yesterday of a lecture being given by the Dean of Medicine at the University of Melbourne.
    He presented the headlines about the USA declining and the UK stalling in terms of life expectancy. His take-home message was the single biggest cost in healthcare today is the cost of labour. While he didn’t do it, I did pose the question in my head. Would medical practitioners around the world take a huge pay cut to help their patients and the patients of others around the world? Would executive registered nurses on high salaries take a pay cut? Would clinical scientists in executive roles take a pay cut? I doubt it. This means, the only logical steps now include using data better and trying to somehow inhibit price gauging when new pharmaceuticals and medical devices are exploited to the market.
    I halved my pay to join the public service hoping to make a difference.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wouldn’t take the huge pay cut unless the conditions got a LOT better. I added up all the equivalent hours/years I have worked. I counted a working week as 40 hours. I counted medical school as 40 hours a week as the lower scale, and at the upper scale, for instance the junior doctor years/ hours at three times this as I often worked 145 hours a week. The GP years on call all night /weekends were somewhere in between. My years work equivalent when I retire will be 78 years from working aged 17.5 to 60.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s unrealistic to expect voluntary pay cuts, but we do constitute a big slice of the cost. I suppose we could argue for greater equity within the profession, especially when considering the fees charged by procedural specialists. They will counter with the cost of indemnity insurance, and perhaps that’s where something could be done. Change the insurance system, keep the system safe, cap the pay outs, look after the injured adequately, and stop the flow of money to the legal profession.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My father worked in the NHS from its inception until his retirement in the early seventies. In his day the “clerical” staff (he was a buyer) worked FOR the medical staff who made the decisions.

      That was starting to change around then: a nurse from a high end hospital told me the dates when non-medical staff outnumbered the medical, and managers outnumbered nurses, both back in the eighties. Add in the management consultants and their ilk, let alone NICE, PCTs etc. and a LOT of the money doesn’t get anywhere near to the coal face.

      Liked by 1 person

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