Americans’ lifestyles are too unhealthy, and life expectancy is falling year after year.

The Washington Post reported that a report published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association offers a gloomy warning about the poor health of Americans. The researchers compared population deaths over the past 60 years and found that the mortality rate among young Americans has been increasing year by year over the past decade due to suicide, drug overdoses, liver disease and many other causes.

As soon as the report was published, it immediately caused a strong reaction from all walks of life. The U.S. health care system and lifestyle have long been seen as representative of a healthy and prosperous life in developed countries, and Americans should be rightly close to longevity. This study is tantamount to breaking cold water for this illusion of course.

The U.S. spends more on health care than any other country, but even so, mortality rates in the 24-64 age group have not declined, and life expectancy is falling. From 2010 to 2017, the mortality rate for young people aged 25-23 increased by a staggering 29 percent, and these people should be in the golden age of family responsibility and contribution to society.

The study is expected to be one of the topics of debate among candidates in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. A third of the deaths that have increased since 2010 are concentrated in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Indiana, the first two of which are swing states in the general election. New Hampshire, which has the largest increase in death rates among the working-age population, is also a key contender for the race.

Other developed countries have been more effective in extending the life expectancy of their citizens than in the United States. Steven H. Woolf, emeritus director of the Center for Social and Health At Virginia Commonwealth University, said: ‘The death rate in the young population should be reduced. Yet they are on the rise, and some aspects of the health care system have gone wrong.

Of all the factors contributing to death, the problem of drug abuse is the most acute. In recent years, drug abuse among young people has become a national tragedy. In addition, unhealthy lifestyles that lead to obesity and the use of mobile phones while driving have also contributed to the increase in mortality among young people. Taken together, the annual labor-related mortality rate in the United States increased by 6 percentage points between 2010 and 2017.

The latest study, which has previously found an increase in the death rate among non-Hispanic whites in the United States, is expanding. All races in the United States, regardless of gender, have seen a decline in life expectancy. Middle-aged mortality rates for white, Hispanic, and African-American communities have increased since 2010, 2011 and 2014, respectively.

In terms of gender, male data samples both had higher mortality rates and absolute numbers than women. But one notable change is that women are more likely to die from diseases that have previously been more fatal for men. Between 1999 and 2017, the risk of drug overdose deaths increased by 486 percent for middle-aged women in the United States and 351 percent for men during that period. Female mortality rates from suicide and alcoholic liver disease are also increasing.

There are many factors that lead to shorter life expectancy, some of which may not be obvious at the time and will not be apparent until many years later. For example, around 1970, tobacco companies began aggressively marketing cigarettes to American women, and the side effects would not be apparent for many years.

Financial stress and family tensions also make people more likely to fall into unhealthy lifestyles and even choose to live lightly. A 2015 study revealed a relationship between education and health, and researchers found that people with high school and below degrees were more likely to experience financial stress, anxiety and despair in middle age.

The role of obesity is not to be underestimated. Today, the vast majority of Americans have a problem with being overweight. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 71.6 percent of people over the age of 20 are overweight, including 39.8 percent who are obese. The number of childhood obesity is also increasing, with nearly 19 percent of Americans aged 2 to 19 obese.

Looking back at life expectancy and death data since 1959, the report concludes that the overall trend is that life expectancy in the United States has increased significantly over the past 60 years, especially in the 1970s. Life expectancy growth then slowed, levelled off, and eventually reversed in 2014, before falling for three consecutive years.

Americans' lifestyles are too unhealthy, and life expectancy is falling year after year.(图:2015年世界卫生组织各国人口预期寿命排名)

Although the United States spends more on health care than any other country, the average life expectancy of Americans has lagged behind that of other developed countries since 1998, and the gap is widening. This has become the medical field known as the “American health disadvantage.”

S. Jay Olshansky, a professor of public health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, says many American children start being obese when they are less than 10 years old, and by the time they reach their 30s and 40s, they will face more health risks. This is not a simple one-off phenomenon, it will have a longer-term impact over time.

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