Letters: Are guns part of America's life expectancy numbers?

Published: Saturday, Jan. 19 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

How much does the United States' high rate of gun ownership correlate with a recent study that stated America has the lowest life expectancy among the 17 major developed nations in the world.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

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I had a lot of feelings from a recent story showing data that among the 17 major developed nations of the world in a study, the U.S. has the lowest life expectancy.

Coincidentally, the U.S. also has the highest rate of gun ownership of the countries studied — and more than three times the rate of violent deaths than Finland, the second highest.

However, the study also suggests that other factors might include our high consumption of calories, drug and alcohol-related accidents, infant mortality, AIDS, teenage illnesses, premature babies and "the health disadvantage in young Americans that had nothing to do with violent injuries." Still, the researchers estimate that homicide and suicide may well be the major causes of the shorter life expectancy.

Ken Baldridge

Pleasant Grove

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