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U.S. Has Higher Rates of Chronic Disease Than England

Last Updated: March 14, 2011.

Americans experience higher rates of chronic disease and markers of disease than their English counterparts at all ages, according to a study published online March 9 in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

MONDAY, March 14 (HealthDay News) -- Americans experience higher rates of chronic disease and markers of disease than their English counterparts at all ages, according to a study published online March 9 in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Melissa L. Martinson, M.D., from Princeton University in New Jersey, and colleagues analyzed data from two nationally representative surveys in the United States and England. They compared rates of a number of chronic conditions and markers of disease between 39,849 residents of the United States and 69,084 residents of England, aged 0 to 80 years.

The investigators found that rates of most chronic diseases and markers of disease were higher in the residents of the United States than their same-age counterparts in England. The magnitude of these differences was similar across all age groups for most conditions, including obesity, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high cholesterol ratio, high C-reactive protein, diabetes, and asthma in both genders, and for hypertension, heart attack or angina, and stroke in females. For younger males, higher rates of heart attack and angina were seen in the United States; whereas, young males in England had higher rates of hypertension. Similar patterns were seen on stratification by weight (normal, overweight, and obese) and for samples restricted to whites, the insured, nonobese, nonsmokers, nondrinkers, and specific income categories.

"We found that Americans experience higher rates of chronic disease and markers of disease than their English counterparts even at young ages and that the cross-country differences in most health measures are of similar magnitude across all age groups," the authors write.

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