Confronting the Sorry State of U.S. Health

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Science  30 Aug 2013:
Vol. 341, Issue 6149, pp. 962-963
DOI: 10.1126/science.1241249

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In January 2013, the U.S. National Research Council (NRC) and Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health, a stunning depiction of how, over the past four decades, the comparative health status of Americans has declined (1). The report applied a term, commonly used to describe the relative deprivation of social groups, to the nation as a whole: the “U.S. health disadvantage.” How can this be explained and what is to be done?