Canadians healthier than Americans: study

You can add Canadians to the list of foreigners who are healthier than Americans. Americans are 42 percent more likely than Canadians to have diabetes, 32 percent more likely to have high blood pressure, and 12 percent more likely to have arthritis, Harvard Medical School researchers found. That is according to a survey in which American and Canadian adults were asked over the telephone about their health.

The study comes less than a month after other researchers reported that middle-aged, white Americans are much sicker than their counterparts in England.

"We're really falling behind other nations," said Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, a co-author of the Canadian study, reports Washingtonpost.

According to Forbes, Americans said they were more satisfied than Canadians with the quality of care they received at either a hospital or a community-based facility. Canadians were happier with their physicians, however.

As well, American health care did excel in some areas compared to the Canadian system. For example, American women were more likely to have had a Pap smear and a mammogram than their Canadian counterparts.

Nevertheless, the American health system appears weakest in relation to the Canadian approach when it comes to caring for the uninsured.

"These findings raise serious questions about what we're getting for the $2.1 trillion we're spending on health care this year," said Dr. David Himmelstein, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard.

"We pay almost twice what Canada does for care, more than $6,000 for every American, yet Canadians are healthier, and live two to three years longer," Himmelstein added in a statement.

"Canadians had better access to most types of medical care (with the single exception of pap smears)," Himmelstein and colleagues wrote in the study, published in the American Journal of Public Health.

"Canadians were 7 percent more likely to have a regular doctor and 19 percent less likely to have an unmet health need. U.S. respondents were almost twice as likely to go without a needed medicine due to cost (9.9 percent of U.S. respondents couldn't afford medicine versus 5.1 percent in Canada)," they added, informs Reuters.

O.Ch.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team