U.S. ranks highest in rate of preventable deaths

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The United States topped 18 other industrialized nations in the rate of preventable deaths, according to a survey by the London School of Hygiene.

The study ranked countries based on the number of deaths that could have been stymied by common medical treatments and surgery. The U.S. dropped to 19th after being ranked 15th in 1997-98. The largest improvements, seen in The U.K., Ireland and Austria, are the result of widespread efforts to reduce smoking, improve food quality and increase citizen access to healthcare.

Of the 19 countries surveyed, the U.S. is the only one without universal healthcare coverage.

The report is available online at http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/full/27/1/58