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Cover of Explaining Divergent Levels of Longevity in High-Income Countries

Explaining Divergent Levels of Longevity in High-Income Countries

; Editors: Eileen M Crimmins, Samuel H Preston, and Barney Cohen.

Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); .
ISBN-13: 978-0-309-18640-7


Over the past 25 years, life expectancy has been rising in the United States at a slower pace than has been achieved in many other high-income countries. Consequently, the United States has been falling steadily in the world rankings for level of life expectancy, and the gap between the United States and countries with the highest achieved life expectancies has been widening. International comparisons of various measures of self-reported health and biological markers of disease reveal similar patterns of U.S. disadvantage. The relatively poor performance of the United States with respect to achieved life expectancy over the recent past is surprising given that it spends far more on health care than any other nation in the world, both absolutely and as a percentage of gross national product. Motivated by these concerns, the National Institute on Aging requested that the National Research Council convene a panel of leading experts to clarify patterns in the levels and trends in life expectancy across nations, to examine the evidence on competing explanations for the divergent trends, and to identify strategic opportunities for health-related interventions to narrow this gap.


This study was supported by the National Institute on Aging's Division of Behavioral and Social Research through Contract No. N01-OD-4-2139, TO#194 between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Suggested citation:

National Research Council. (2011). Explaining Divergent Levels of Longevity in High-Income Countries. E.M. Crimmins, S.H. Preston, and B. Cohen, Eds. Panel on Understanding Divergent Trends in Longevity in High-Income Countries. Committee on Population, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

Any opinions, findings, conclusion, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organization or agencies that provided support for the project.

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

Copyright © 2011, National Academy of Sciences.
Bookshelf ID: NBK62369PMID: 21977544DOI: 10.17226/13089


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