A new study finds that life expectancy for Canadians with cystic fibrosis is 50 years compared to 40 years for Americans with the condition. Longevity for people with the progressive genetic disease is increasing in both countries, but far faster in Canada. Seeking a reason for the disparity, researchers considered severity of disease and risk factors without luck. Some possibilities include faster access to lung transplants, adoption of high fat diets that improve outcomes, and differences in the two countries’ health systems. Canadians with cystic fibrosis, who get care in a single system, had mortality rates similar to privately insured Americans with the disease. However Canadians risk of death was 44% lower than Americans with public coverage, Medicaid or Medicare, and uninsured Americans with the disease were at even higher risk.
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