There's just no pleasing Americans. Even though they're living longer lives, they still can't find the time to be happy. The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study on Wednesday which said that Americans are sad because, although life expectancy has increased, they aren't living healthier lives:
Despite a level of health expenditures that would have seemed unthinkable a generation ago, the health of the U.S. population has improved only gradually and has fallen behind the pace of progress in many other wealthy nations," said Harvey V. Fineberg, president of the Institute of Medicine, in an editorial accompanying the report. The IOM advises the government on health matters.
So basically, longer lives really means longer lives with ailments, which is like slow torture:
The findings, from the most comprehensive analysis of the health of the U.S. population in more than 15 years, show progress in reducing death rates, adjusted for age, across a variety of diseases. But death rates from illnesses associated with obesity, such as diabetes and kidney disease, as well as neurological conditions like Alzheimer's disease, are on the rise.
Meanwhile, the number of years of living with chronic disability, an indicator of quality of life, rose for the average American in the past 20 years, partly reflecting increased longevity.
Maybe if we took care of ourselves, we'd have more to smile about over the years. But that makes entirely too much sense.
[via Wall Street Journal]