Special Reports

February 24, 2012

Research improves health, makes economic impact

Medical research in the United States has led to great improvements in health. Our average lifespan has more than doubled since the early 1900s. We lead the world in cancer care and have made great strides in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Nonetheless, we continue to face serious health challenges as a nation. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United States spends more than $7,900 per capita (33 percent more than Norway), which is second in expenditures of the 30 countries in the OECD. However, 27 countries have lower infant mortality rates and 22 have a higher life expectancy. Conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension make our children run the risk of having shorter, unhealthier lives than us or our parents.

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