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Please review the Life Expectancy map for the World Health Organization. Please compare the US to other countries and regions and discuss the major differences in life expectancy and the reasons for those differences in a 500 word essay.    Life expectancy may range from country to country throughout the world. Common sense tells us that the more a country is spending on health care, the higher the life expectancy should be for an individual and vice versa. Squires (2011), notes that the United States spends around $8,000 on health care per person. This is more than any other country in the world. Even though the United States pays the most for health care, the Unites States does not have the highest life expectancy. This implies that there are other factors contributing to life expectancy.               Money is not the only factor that influences life expectancy. There are many factors that may work together to influence it. For example, life expectancy in Russia and other Eastern European countries has been on the decline, but medical spending may not be the only cause. Cockerham (1997) notes that social events such as the fall of the Soviet Union had an impact on life expectancy. Health care during the time of the Soviet Union was poor to begin with and because of the decline of the government structure, health care quality declined even more (Cockerham, 1997). The fall of the Soviet Union could have put stress on the people, which put a strain on their health. The United States has not seen such a drastic shift in government like Russia has.               Another reason for the differences in life expectancy between Russia and the United States is that doctors were not given the same prestige. According to Cockerham (1997), doctors were not treated with the same professionalism that doctors in the United States are treated with. Doctors were also not given the same quality training. Because the health care in Russia was so poor and there was a high demand for doctors, the quality of their training was not the same. People were forced into medical school and given poor quality training. This led to a surplus of doctors that were not trained sufficiently. Also they were not making sufficient wages. In Soviet Russia, the wages were not as high because the job was not considered as prestigious. In the United States, doctors go through years of intensive training and pay large sums of money for this education. In turn they make more money and are very prestigious. The quality of health care in the United States is much higher than in Russia.               Finally, lifestyle choices also contribute to the low life expectancy in Russia (Cockerham, 1997). For example, poor nutrition, heavy alcohol consumption, and smoking combined with poor health care contribute to low life expectancy. These lifestyle choices may lead to diseases, which may not be treatable by the health care system provided.               Social events such as the fall of the Soviet Union combined with poor training for health care professionals as well as poor lifestyles contribute to a lower life expectancy for people living in Russia and Eastern Europe. The differences between the United States and Russia are very large, but this is because circumstances in each country are very different.   Reference.   Cockerham, W. (1997). The social determinants of the decline of life expectancy in russian and eastern europe: A lifestyle explanation. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 38(2), 117-130. Assingment #1: Life Expectancy               Life expectancy within the United States is lower than in Costa Rica and many other countries. In the article called “Exploring why Costa Rica outperforms the United States in life expectancy: A tale of two inequality gradients” the authors talk about the reasons why Costa Rica has a higher life expectancy than the United States.  In the article, it says, “Costa Rica has a higher life expectancy than the United States even though its per capita income and its health expenditure are small fractions of those in the United States.”  Luis Rosero-Bixby and William H. Dow (2015) write, “the high health insurance and health care coverage of Costa Rica is achieved at a fraction of the cost of health care in the United States: health expenditures per capita in the United States are about 10 times as high as in Costa Rica.”   The health care in Costa Rica is less expensive than in the United States which allows for them to have a higher life expectancy and the average income that is earned per person in Costa Rica is very small even though they have a higher life expectancy.  There are other factors that come along with why Costa Rica has a higher life expectancy than in the United States.   There are many factors as to why Costa Rica has a higher life expectancy than in the United States.  There are two major causes of deaths within the United States which are lung cancer and heart disease.  In the United States, men are four times more likely to die from lung cancer and 54% at a higher risk of dying by heart disease than the men in Costa Rica.  These numbers give Costa Rica an advantage with having a longer life because these two causes of death in the United States are counterbalanced by the conditions such as cerebrovascular conditions or stroke in Costa Rica.  They say in the article, “lung cancer mortality in the United States is four times higher among men and six times higher among women compared with Costa Rica.  Mortality by heart disease is 54% and 12% higher in the United States than in Costa Rica for men and women, respectively (Bixby and Dow 2015).”   Another reason that Costa Rica has a higher life expectancy than the United States is having the universal health insurance.  Costa Rica is known for its excellent primary care access in which it provides a safety net for the poor people.  The United States has high insurance rates for the poor before the age of 65.  It is better to live in Costa Rica for a low SES person but when you are a high SES person it is better to live in the United States if you are younger than 65 years old.  The system in Costa Rica does not provide highly specialize health care and does not have some basic standards yet they have a higher life expectancy.  Although it seems like the United States would have a better life expectancy, Costa Rica has a cost effective primary care and public health interventions which make the life expectancy better in Costa Rica than in the United States.   There are many other factors as to why the United States has less of a life expectancy than Costa Rico such as smoking, and obesity within the United States.  “High Health inequalities by SES, race, and geography have been singled out among the factors that explain the relatively poor performance of life expectancy in the United States (Rehkoph, 2010).” These factors are just a few of the reasons why Costa Rica has a greater life expectancy than the United States.                       Citation:   Rosero-Bixby, L., & Dow, W. H. (2016). Exploring why Costa Rica outperforms the United States in life expectancy: A tale of two inequality gradients. Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America, 113(5), 1130-1137. doi:10.1073/pnas.1521917112

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