Given the prevalence of medical conditions like heart disease and diabetes – paired with a national diet of processed foods – it’s somewhat evident why the United States is not often lauded for the good health of its citizens. However, as one of the richest countries in the world, some may still expect that this country would be able to combat the ailments of its people and promote their overall aging longevity.

However, according to a study released by the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine this month, Americans rank among the sickliest when compared to citizens of other developed countries in the world, with an average life expectancy that falls short of 16 prosperous nations including Canada, Japan and various countries throughout Western Europe.

“Americans are dying and suffering at rates that we know are unnecessary because people in other high-income countries are living longer lives and enjoying better health,” said Virginia Commonwealth University medical professor Steven Woolf, who led the body that produced the report, in a press release.

In a finding that may prove surprising, the researchers determined that the greatest discrepancy in global aging longevity stemmed from the fact that more American males passed away before reaching 50 years of age.

“Americans are more likely to engage in certain unhealthy behaviors, from heavy caloric intake to [acts] that increase the risk of fatal injuries,” the press release states.

Poverty, education levels and limited access to healthcare may also be factors in this bleak statistic, the researchers speculated.

However, as unsettling as this report may be, it is encouraging to know that some of these factors are within our power to change. At Longevity Centres of America, our anti-aging doctors specialize in beneficial treatments like detoxifying IV chelation and medical weight loss in Houston and Denver to help patients reduce their risk for serious illnesses so they can age gracefully.