If you are like I was, I knew that our life expectancy in this country had declined recently, but I had no idea. I was shocked by this report by NPR.
"Across the lifespan, and across every demographic group, Americans die at younger ages than their counterparts in other wealthy nations.
How could this happen? In a country that prides itself on scientific excellence and innovation, and spends an incredible amount of money on health care, the population keeps dying at younger and younger ages."
I've been involved in the problems of chronic disease as we get older and I was well aware of the health crisis that is coming but I didn't know it had arrived.
Look at that chart carefully. Compared to the rest of the wealthy countries we are dying 6 years sooner. Are you OK with that? Does it make sense that our politicians are scheming over the next election or trying to get on TV and aren't horrified that their constituents are dying too soon?
How can it be that we spend more money on healthcare than anyone and it is a failure? I really want to blame someone. This is more death than we have suffered as a nation in all of our wars combined and apparently no one cares.
We are rapidly becoming a nation of I'm not sick yet or my favorite I'm so glad I only have this disease. Just wait a bit, they travel in packs. You won't end up with just one painful problem.
I know there is no simple answer. There is no ONE to blame. We have all done it or allowed it but knowledge is power they say. Remember this chart and do things in your own life to better your odds, but as a society we should demand that the systems we depend on do not ignore this very real crisis that is upon us. It may be happening slowly but, if counted, the dead will dwarf the other things we fret so much about.