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Gun, drug, car deaths loom large in US longevity gap

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Gun, drug, car deaths loom large in US longevity gap

Deaths from old-age ailments sometimes get more attention in longevity research, but the researchers say deaths from these three causes tend to happen at younger ages and contribute to many decades of life lost

Gun, drug, car deaths loom large in US longevity gap

CHICAGO (AP) – New research says guns, drugs and cars contribute substantially to the life-expectancy gap between the United States and other developed nations.

Deaths from old-age ailments sometimes get more attention in longevity research, but the researchers say deaths from these three causes tend to happen at younger ages and contribute to many decades of life lost.

The researchers compared U.S. death rates with Japan and 11 European countries.

Among men, life expectancy abroad in 2012 was 78.6 years versus 76.4 in the United States. Injury-related deaths accounted for almost half of that difference.

Among women, life expectancy was similarly higher – 83.4 years abroad versus 81.2 years in the United States. Injury-related deaths accounted for 20 percent of the gap.

The study is in Tuesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association.

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