FIGURE 1-16 Contribution of cause-of-death categories to difference in years of life lost before age 50 between the United States and the mean of 16 peer countries, females, 2006-2008.
NOTES: Because of the overlap with other cause-of-death categories, drug-related causes are not included as a separate category in this figure, which shows mutually exclusive contributions of specific causes of death (see NOTES in Figure 1-14). Data for this figure come from the Human Mortality Database (downloaded July 18, 2011, last updated July 13, 2011); the WHO Mortality Database (downloaded July 18, 2011, last updated March 25, 2011); and Statistics Canada (downloaded July 22, 2011, data released February 23, 2010).
SOURCE: Adapted from Ho and Preston (2011, Figure 8).
is attributable to death before age 50. The calculation reveals that about two-thirds of the U.S. shortfall in life expectancy in 2007 relative to France and Japan—two very high-performing countries—were attributable to high U.S. mortality after age 50 (Ho and Preston, 2011).
A somewhat different picture emerges when the results are separated by sex and the comparison is made with the composite of the other 16 peer countries. Deaths after age 50 contributed to 58 percent of the U.S. shortfall in newborn life expectancy among females but only to 32 percent of the shortfall among newborn males (Ho and Preston, 2011). That is, most of the life expectancy difference among males is attributable to high U.S. mortality before age 50. This finding also implicates intentional and unintentional