Despite spending more per person on health care than any other nation, the United States has a crisis of premature deaths. The Post’s health team has been investigating why that is, and today we learn how politics, stress and chronic illness play a role.
The United States was once on a track to reach an average life expectancy of 80, but after decades of progress, we’re falling further and further behind.
The Washington Post spent the past year examining why this is happening. Our reporters and editors have analyzed death records from five decades and spoke to scores of clinicians, patients and researchers in the United States and abroad.
“One of the best quotes we had in the series was, if we came in last in the Olympics, how would we react?” said data reporter Dan Keating. “We're coming in last in the Olympics of staying alive.”
Today, we hear from Keating about what the data reveals. Then we turn to Akilah Johnson to hear about how stress and weathering play a role. And finally, we turn to Dan Diamond, who looked at how red-state politics are shaving years off Americans’ lives.
Plug your age and gender into our life expectancy calculator to compare yourself with peers overseas. Find out why so many do better than in the United States.