Friday, October 12, 2007

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.

(HT: Ironman)


At 10/13/2007 4:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Smoke and Mirrors

Of course this "study" would consider the death of the guy at work that drove his motorcycle into an oncoming truck (after finding out he had terminal cancer) to be a fatal injury and not health related. His family received a substantially higher life insurance settlement because he died in an "accident." His family and a couple very close friends knows he did it to better provide for his family.

And would this study consider the self inflicted gun shot wound to the head of my wifes uncle to be a fatal non-health related injury even though he was suffering with terminal cancer?

Every decent economist or scientist knows that it is possible to distort any data to provide the desired results.

Simplistically removing specific causes of death to achieve the longest life span for the U.S. smacks of the worst kind of intellectual dishonesty.

At 5/04/2009 7:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually poster #1 your the one being intellectually dishonest! The point of the study points exactly to your statement that numbers can tell you exactly what you want to hear.

Talk about having an agenda... freak'n idiot moonbats!

At 7/20/2009 11:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The referenced link:

"This low ranking in life expectancy 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."

I would agree in general that life expectancy is a rather crude measure of health care - since living conditions such as diet and sanitation etc probably are a bigger factor. Looking at Life expectancy from birth also lumps in care of babies while important it may over shadow effects of health care in later life, etc. One also has to wonder if the treatment of fatal injuries is as good here as elsewhere, in other words just eliminating fatal injuries which might have been prevented with good health care (which I guess the poor don't always get even in an emergency) is a flawed method.

At 8/20/2009 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Needs more details about how this "standardization" was done. For example, take out homicides and vehicular deaths, US life expectancy increases by 1.6 years. Makes sense. However, in Japan if you exclude homicides and accidents, life expectancy goes down 2.7 years. Same in Canada or generally in Europse. How does that make sense in any way? It implies that Japanese (or Canadians, or some Europeans) live longer if they're murdered or car accident victims.


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