Three big reasons why U.S. men have a shorter life expectancy

Life expectancy graph

DEADLY TRIO  U.S. men live shorter lives on average than men in other wealthy countries, due in part to three types of injury.

Source: A. Fenelon, L.-H. Chen and S.P. Baker/JAMA 2016; Credit: E. Otwell 

Guns, drugs, cars. Sounds like a formula for an action movie, but the list may explain why American men don’t live as long as men in other high-income countries.

In the United States, average life expectancy among men is 76.4 years — about two years shorter than men who live in Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom and nine other countries. Deaths due to injuries are the reason for much of the gap, researchers report in the Feb. 9 JAMA.

An analysis of U.S. and World Health Organization data revealed that deaths from injuries due to firearms, drug poisonings and auto crashes account for 48 percent of the difference in men’s life expectancies. These causes of death are less of a problem for American women, the researchers found.

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