Nightly News   |  July 10, 2013

US sicker than other developed nations

A new snapshot of America’s health from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation shows people in the U.S. are living longer, however, their health depends on which city they live in. Furthermore, the overall pace of improvement in Americans’ health is slower than that of other high-income counties. NBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> as we mentioned, back tonight with a somewhat discouraging new report on health in america. it's not improving as fast as it is in a lot of other countries, and increasingly here in our country, how long you live may depend in large part on where you live. our report from chief medical editor dr. nancy snyderman .

>> reporter: the report out today is a snapshot of how america's health compares to other developed nations and a look at what's happening in our own communities. we are living longer, we are falling behind.

>> things are getting better over the past two decades, but the pace of improvement is slower than in other high-income countries.

>> reporter: on average, life expectancy for men in the united states is 76 years, up from 6740 years ago. for women, it's now 81, up from 76. but that varies dramatic by region. men living in fairfax county , virginia, are expected to live the longest, about 81 years. but travel 350 miles and men in mcdowell county , wasest virginia, live on average to 64 years, similar to the life expectancy in gambia, west africa . women fare better, the highest life expectancy ? marin, california, at 85. and lowest, 72 years on perry, kentucky. on par with vietnam, a nation plagued by poverty. the biggest risk of death? how much and what we eat?

>> extraordinary obesity epidemic. if you look at how much we eat that trumps the fact that we seem to do be doing a little more exercise.

>> reporter: people in certain areas of the south have the highest body mass index . men in owsley county , is the highest in the country. the top three causes of premature death ?

>> heart disease, lung cancer and stroke. the number one disability in this country affecting millions? back pain, an insidious in all of this? poverty. brian, we can't deny it any more. access to good health care . for most of us, this is a problem in plain sight.

>> thank you. nancy, we put the full report on our website. where you live can exact life expectancy , that at