The United States ranks last among 16 high-income, industrialized nations when it comes to deaths that could potentially have been prevented with timely access to effective health care, according to a Commonwealth Fund–supported study
that appeared online in the journal Health Policy
. According to the analysis, other nations lowered their preventable death rates an average of 31 percent between 1997–98 and 2006–07, while the U.S. rate declined by only 20 percent, from 120 to 96 per 100,000. At the end of the decade, the preventable mortality rate in the U.S. was almost twice that in France, which had the lowest rate—55 per 100,000.