Report: U.S. Life Expectancy Lagging Because of Smoking

By Tucker, Charlotte | The Nation's Health, March 2011 | Go to article overview

Report: U.S. Life Expectancy Lagging Because of Smoking


Tucker, Charlotte, The Nation's Health


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

LIFE EXPECTANCIES in the United States lag behind some other high-income countries less because of things Americans are doing now than because of behaviors they have engaged in in the past.

Specifically, U.S life expectancies are lagging because of smoking. According to a report released by the National Research Council in January, heavy smoking in the past five decades is shortening American lifespans today.

"I think the report puts together a variety of evidence to answer a question that hadn't really been asked before," said Samuel Preston, PhD, co-chair of the council's Panel on Understanding Divergent Trends in Longevity in High-Income Countries. Over the past 25 years, life expectancy at age 50 in the United States has been increasing, but at a much slower rate than in some other high-income countries. According to National Center for Health Statistics 2007 data, the average life expectancy at birth today is 75.3 years for men and 80.4 years for women. To contrast, in Japan men live to an average age of 79.2 years and women to 86 years, as of 2006.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Researchers attribute the slower rate of increase--for women in the United States the increase was about 40 percent smaller than in other countries--to widespread smoking 30 to 50 years ago.

Over the period 1950 to 2003, the gain in life expectancy at age 50 was 2.1 years lower among U.S. women, compared with the average of nine other high-income countries, the report said. Women in the United States, on average, will live 5.7 years longer now than they would have in 1950. In the other nine countries, women are living an average of 7.8 years longer than in 1950.

"The damage caused by smoking was estimated to account for 78 percent of the gap in life expectancy for women and 41 percent of the gap for men between the United States and other high-income countries in 2003," the report said.

Smoking rates in the United States are not nearly as high now as they were in the 1950s and 1960s, particularly for women, Preston said.

"American women led the world for years (in smoking)," Preston told The Nation's Health.

And now, their life expectancy is increasing at a much slower rate than in other high-income nations.

Researchers also used smoking data to predict how life expectancy will be affected over the next two to three decades. Life expectancy for men will likely begin to improve "relatively rapidly" in coming decades because of reductions in smoking in the last 20 years, they said.

For women it is a different story. Women's smoking behavior peaked later than men's, so declines in mortality will likely remain slow for the next 10 years. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Report: U.S. Life Expectancy Lagging Because of Smoking
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.