Americans living longer, not healthier

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(FOX NEWS) - A new study indicates Americans are living longer lives, but they're doing it in poor health.

Fox News Correspondent Bryan Llenas has the story.

The 20 year study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation shows Americans are living longer, but are living those extra years in poor health.

The study, published in the journal of the American Medical Association, measured data in 187 countries.

Showing the life expectancy in both men and women in the U.S. rose from 75.2 years in 1990 to 78.2 years in 2010.

But while Americans are living longer, they are spending more years suffering from non-fatal chronic disabilities.

Like depression, anxiety, bone and joint diseases, and chronic illnesses like diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Dr. Chris Murray / Director of The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation says: "The combination of all those disabling conditions means that people are actually spending more time with chronic disorders and that is something we all need to deal with both as individuals and for the health care system."

Doctors blame obesity, which has overtaken tobacco as the most important factor in living a long healthy life.

Poor physical inactivity, high blood pressure, and alcohol drinking increase the possibility of being unhealthy as you age.

In the last 20 years the U.S. has spent more per capita on health care than any other nation.

But during that time America’s rank fell in every major health category, including life expectancy from 20th to 27th out of 34 other wealthy nations .

Fox News Health Senior Managing Editor Dr. Manny Alvarez.

Dr. Manny Alvarez / Sr. Managing Editor, Fox News Health says: " Individual responsibility becomes very important in other nations//you've got to show up for your appointments, you got to take your medication. You gotta follow the instructions when it comes to lifestyle issues."

Caring for chronic disabilities and obesity accounts for nearly half of the cost of U.S. healthcare.

In New York, Brian Llenas, FOX NEWS.

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