Based on the study, researchers from the United States found that over the past few decades, the average Costa Rican has added a full year of healthy living to their average life expectancy. The researchers and their team discovered that the mortality rate in the United States is 18% higher than in Costa Rica adult men and 10% higher among middle-aged women. Despite the healthy expenditures and higher income of the United States, how has Costa Rica improved its life expectancy? Discover here.

United States Life Expectancy vs Costa Rica’s Life Expectancy

According to the researchers, this comparison simultaneously shows how the middle-income countries highlight the United States’ poor health performance. With respect to high SES-mortality gradients in the United States, it is obvious that Costa Rica’s overall mortality advantage can be explained by two causes of death – lung cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. 

Lung Cancer 

The mortality rate of lung cancer in the united states is six times higher among women andfour times higher among men when compared to Costa Rica. In other words, when compared to Costa Rica, the mortality rate by heart disease in men and women is 54% and 12% higher in the United States. 

Heart Disease and Diabetes 

The heart disease and diabetes mortality rates are also much more precipitous in the United States. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women. For every 36 seconds, at least one person dies from cardiovascular disease or heart attack. Each year around 655,000 people die from heart disease or cardiovascular disease.

Compared with Costa Rica, the United States’s behavioral and medical risk factors are due to smoking, uncontrolled dysglycemia, hypertension, obesity, and lack of health insurance. Whereas Costa Ricas has a higher life expectancy than the United States even though their income and health expenditures are low when compared to the fractions of the United States.

It is well established that the health and mortality of these two countries explain the importance of the healthcare system and behavioral factors. The research team concluded that their related research focuses on economic factors and inequality, smoking, and obesity are the main reasons behind the steeper level of mortality rate. 

When compared to other high-income countries and middle-income countries like Costa Rica, the United States should focus more on strong factors like economic factors and inequality, smoking, and obesity that are relative to the poor performance of life expectancy. 

We believe that this article may help you to identify the pathways of improving your health conditions and also helps to improve the target of health interventions in high-income settings.