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Oh BTW, this doesn't account for the differences in how infant mortality is accounted either. After accounting for the fact that the US has a much more inclusive definition of a "live birth" than any other developed country would push the life expectancy statistic even further in favor of the US.

I've seen this statement dozens of times. I've never seen evidence suggesting that Western European countries -- the ones with infant mortality ratest 50% lower than the U.S. -- do not try to save every baby.

I was also wondering if the number of babies born before, say 27 weeks was statistically significant enough to make any difference when I stumbled across the following:

"The survival rates of extremely preterm infants are high, even at the borders of viability," he noted.

The report is published in the June 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

For the study, Marsal's group collected data on more than 305,000 infants born ... from 2004 to 2007. Among these infants, 1,011 were born extremely preterm (before 27 weeks), including 707 born alive and 304 stillborn.

So, these extremely premature babies account for 1 out of 1000 premature births. The difference between the U.S. and Western European nations is 3 out of 1000 in the leading Western European countries and 7 out of 1000 for the U.S.

After one year, 70 percent of the 707 children were still alive, with dramatic increases in survival for each additional week of gestation. For babies born at 22 weeks, one-year survival was 9.8 percent; at 23 weeks it was 53 percent; at 24 weeks, survival was 67 percent; at 25 weeks it was 82 percent; and at 26 weeks, one-year survival reached 85 percent.

So, for the remaining extremely premature births we have 70% of the children living, or perhaps another 1 out of 1000 being added to the "infant mortality rate."

Therefore, perhaps we can account for 2 out of 1000 infant mortality deaths if Western European nations do not attempt to save these extremely premature infants.

There is only one problem with that argument.

... The study was conducted in Sweden.
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