Researchers from the Peninsula Medical School, the University of Cambridge and the University of Michigan have carried out the first international comparison of cognitive function in nationally representative samples of older adults in the US and England and discovered that US seniors performed significantly better that their English counterparts . . . .
Two researchers from the Peninsula Medical School worked on the study, Dr Iain Lang and Dr David Llewellyn. Dr Iain Lang commented: "While we in England may not like the results of this study, there are important lessons to be gleaned regarding the differences in lifestyle and the treatment of cardiovascular diseases between the US and England. Given the good results achieved by the American oldest-old, we can hypothesise that the more aggressive diagnosis and treatment of hypertension and possibly other cardiovascular risks that occurs in the US, may lead to less cognitive decline. US citizens tend to retire later than those in England, and this too can have an effect on cognitive performance – there may be a connection between early retirement and the early onset of cognitive decline."
Dr David Llewellyn added: "It is possible that the results of this study could lead to other research designed to improve cognitive performance for older people in England. Certainly, with the population of the world ageing at a rapid rate future cross-national studies regarding medical and social factors and ageing can only make significant contributions to the quality and delivery of public health – not least in providing possible savings for health and social care providers such as the NHS."
I think most people would agree that mental health is an essential component of our overall quality of life. Any comparison between the United States' health care system and international health care systems should certainly take this into account.