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There is now solid evidence that America, the Home of the Brave, may also be the Home of the Sick, at least for middle-aged Americans. The British National Health Service must be doing something right.

Middle-aged English people are healthier than their American counterparts, according to a collaborative study issued today by English and US researchers.

Americans aged between 55 and 64 suffer from diseases such as diabetes, high-blood pressure and lung cancer at rates up to twice those seen among similar aged people in England, reports the study, published in the May Journal of the American Medical Association.

By analyzing a large representative sample of people from each country, researchers from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, UCL (University College London) and RAND in the US found that English people were less likely to report suffering from a wide array of diseases. The differences were confirmed when researchers analyse separate studies that collected blood samples from participants to look for biological markers of disease – showing that the differences were not just a result of Americans’ increased willingness to report illness.

Reports of poorer health were seen for all socioeconomic groups in the US in comparison to their English peers, not just among the poor.

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