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Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Preventable Illness at Core of U.S. Health Costs
By RAJA JAGADEESAN, M.D.
ABC News Medical Unit
Oct. 3, 2007
Fat, Lazy Americans Account for Part of U.S.-Europe Health Care Cost Gap
John Smith, from a health care perspective, is a typical American.
He is a 56-year-old white male living in a suburban city in the United States. He has been an on-again, off-again smoker throughout his life but recently quit -- something he is proud of.
He is 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 190 pounds, and he knows he could probably stand to lose a few pounds. Scientists would calculate his body mass index at 28, a classification that qualifies him as overweight.
As John Smith prepares for retirement, he also realizes that 18 percent of his income goes toward health care costs, and he wonders why he is paying so much.
John Smith is not real. But he does represent the type of average American over age 50 examined in a study published this week by researchers at Emory University's School of Public Health.
And according to the study, it may be Americans' own habits that are driving health care costs in the United States.
Continue reading the full article here