Exposing the Gaps—How Does the United States Compare in Key Determinants of Health?
When the health of a population is measured by various mortality indicators such as life expectancy, infant or child mortality, or the chances of surviving to retirement, surprising trends emerge. Health, as measured by longevity, appears to be declining in substantial segments of the U.S. population, especially for women. These findings receive little attention in most public health efforts or in the mainstream media, at least in the United States.
Convenient or not, a startling truth becomes clear—despite having access to what is arguably the best medical care in the world, Americans lag behind much of the developed world in many important health indices. In other words, better health care does not necessarily guarantee better health.
To prepare for this Discussion, complete the readings and view the media in your Learning Resources. Install the free Gapminder Desktop tool and experiment plotting different health outcomes against various determinants already loaded along the two axes. Using the various health ranking resources provided, select two key health indicators for which the United States ranks lower than other nations.
By Day 4, post a brief description of the two indicators you selected, citing specific sources. Explain how the U.S. ranks on these indicators compared to three developing countries. Next, explain two factors that might influence those rankings and the relative standing of the U.S. compared to the other nations. Then, determine which two states rank the best and which two states rank the worst for those indicators. Describe factors you believe might contribute to those relative rankings among the states. Finally, share any insights you gained or conclusions you drew as a result of making these comparisons.
Use APA formatting for your discussion and to cite your resources.
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