A recent study in BioMed Central's online journal Population Health Metrics based on data from the 2002-03 Joint Canada/United States Survey of Health indicated that Canadian are healthier and outliving Americans. Mortality risk and the health-related quality of life (eg. free of disability) were also considered. According to the study a 19-year-old Canadian could expect to enjoy 2.7 more years of perfect health in comparison to 19-year-old in the US. Both mortality and morbidity or disease rates in Canada are lower than in the US. Two major potential explanations to the differences are:
- Differences in access to care between the "prenatal to grave" health service offered in Canada with the non-universal American access typically through employee coverage or Medicaid or Medicare for those with low incomes and seniors.
- The higher degree of social inequity is more pronounced in the US particularly among seniors.