Nearly 45,000 deaths annually are associated with a lack of health insurance, according to a study by Harvard Medical School researchers and published online in the American Journal of Public Health.
Study ties lack of insurance, 45,000 deaths per year
Uninsured nonelderly adults have a 40% higher risk of death than those carrying health insurance, according to the study, up from a 25% excess death rate in 1993, according to the report. Several of the report authors are prominent proponents of a single-payer healthcare system.
The study looked at data from national surveys conduced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and controlled for risk factors such as income and smoking.
“We doctors have many new ways to prevent deaths from hypertension, diabetes and heart disease, but only if patients can get into our offices and afford their medications,” said lead author and internist Andrew Wilper, formerly of Harvard Medical School and now at the University of Washington Medical School.
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