Men Benefit Most From Increased Health Care Spending


When comparing life expectancy of people in 36 countries, the United States ranks 26th. And health care spending is the highest in the United States, according to a report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Researchers studying life expectancy trends have determined that increased health spending tends to benefit men more than women.

Life expectancy rates
The average life expectancy for men in the U.S. is 76 years, but for women it is 81 years, according to the latest reports published in 2011. The average life expectancy age in the U.S. is just below the OECD average of 80.1 years old.

The OECD research shouldn’t be cause for alarm, reports The Huffington Post. Between 1960 and 2011, U.S. life expectancy increased by nearly nine years. However, during this same period, the life expectancy increase for OECD member countries was 11 years.

Health care spending
According to a U.S. News & World Report story, researchers discovered that increasing health spending to improve life expectancy tends to benefit men more than women. In the U.S., a $100 increase in spending was associated with a 0.70 month increase in life expectancy for men compared to an increase of 0.04 months for women.

Although researchers could not clearly define why increased health care spending benefits men more than women, they have two hypotheses:

  • Men may receive a more accurate diagnosis, which could lead to more effective treatment, as evidenced by cardiovascular studies
  • Men start with a lower initial life expectancy, and health interventions may lead to faster life improvement

Researchers plan to continue studying life expectancy trends to enhance their knowledge and understanding of the issues.