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美国人的预期寿命不断下降,原因何在?

Grace Donnelly 2018年02月14日

美国人新一年的平均预期寿命是78.7岁,落后于其他发达国家居民。

根据美国疾病防治中心(CDC)国家健康统计中心(National Center for Health Statistics)的数据,美国人的预期寿命连续第二年出现了下降。

美国人新一年的平均预期寿命是78.7岁,落后于其他发达国家居民,比起经济发展与合作组织(Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development)成员国家80.3岁的居民平均水平也短了一年半。该组织是一个包括了加拿大、德国、墨西哥、法国、日本和英国在内的发达国家团体。

20世纪60年代,美国曾在居民预期寿命上领先全球,如今它为何在这个国民健康的指标上落后了这么多呢?

《英国医学杂志》(BMJ)新发布的一篇研究报告探讨了预期寿命下降的一个广泛的原因:绝望。

弗吉尼亚联邦大学(Virginia Commonwealth University)急救医学助理教授、本报告的共同作者之一史蒂文·伍尔夫表示:“我们发现药物滥用和绝望致死的情况出现了令人担忧的增加。”

他补充道,比起预期寿命的减少幅度,美国人的药物成瘾和情感幸福指数的下降更加值得担心。它们的严重程度足以拉低国家的人均寿命。

研究谈到了鸦片类药物的流行,文中引用疾病防治中心去年的报告称,去年因药量过多导致的死亡数同比增加了21%,而2000年至2014年,鸦片类药物致死的情况增加了137%,这些都是预期寿命降低的直接原因。

伍尔夫称,毒品和酒精导致的尤其是美国白人死亡数的增加,原因“不明、复杂,无法单纯用鸦片类药物来解释”。

根据政府数据,美国每天平均有115人死于鸦片类药物使用过量,另有6人死于酗酒,这是35年来的最高值。

报告还强调了自杀率的提高,从1999年至2014年,自杀率提高了24%,另外从肥胖到艾滋病在内的各种健康问题也对美国人的寿命产生了负面影响。

作者指出,那些被政客认为有损于生活质量的问题的解决方案,在决策中往往遭到否决,而这种不作为最终带来的影响,却是由美国人民承受的。

作者写道:“结局很悲惨:不仅是死亡人数和患病人数会增加,此外还会导致医疗成本水涨船高,劳动力健康水平降低,经济竞争力减弱。后几代人可能会为此付出昂贵的代价。”(龙8国际|官网)

译者:严匡正 

Life expectancy in the U.S. dropped for the second year in a row, according to the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.

The new average life expectancy for Americans is 78.7 years, which puts the U.S. behind other developed nations and 1.5 years lower than the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) average life expectancy of 80.3. The OECD is a group of developed countries that includes Canada, Germany, Mexico, France, Japan, and the U.K.

So why has the U.S., a global leader in the length of life for its citizens in the 1960s, fallen so far in this metric for quality of the nation’s health?

A new study published in the BMJ journal looked into a broader cause behind the decline: despair.

“We are seeing an alarming increase in deaths from substance abuse and despair,” said Steven Woolf, an associate professor of emergency medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University and co-author of the report.

He added that the amount of the decrease in life expectancy is actually less alarming than the fact that addiction and a decline in the emotional wellbeing of Americans have been significant enough to drag down the country’s average length of life.

The research points to the opioid epidemic, backing up a CDC report from last year that linked the drop directly to a 21% increase in overdose deaths from the year before and cited a 137% increase in opioid-related deaths between 2000 and 2014.

The increase in deaths caused by drugs and alcohol, particularly among white Americans, is “unclear, complex, and not explained by opioids alone,” according to Woolf.

On average, 115 people in the U.S. die each day from an opioid overdose, and six Americans per day are dying from alcohol abuse—the highest rate in 35 years, according to federal data.

The report also highlights a rise in the suicide rate, which increased 24% between 1999 and 2014, as well as health conditions from diabetes to HIV/AIDS that are negatively impacting the lives of Americans.

The authors of the study point out that the solutions to problems politicians recognize as detrimental to the quality of life in the U.S. are often rejected when it comes down to policy making, and it’s American citizens who feel the impact of inaction.

“The consequences are dire: not only more deaths and illness but also escalating health care costs, a sicker workforce, and a less competitive economy,” the authors wrote. “Future generations may pay the greatest price.”

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