Study: Lack of insurance plays role in mortality

Here's a study result that should add more fuel to the health reform fire on Capitol Hill: Americans who don't have health insurance are 40 percent more likely to die than those who have private health plans.

In fact, the study concludes that as many as 44,789 Americans of working age die every year because they don't have insurance, according to the study, which appears in the American Journal of Public Health.

To study this issue, researchers used data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which collected data between 1988 and 1994 on people ages 17 to 64. They concluded that being uninsured correlates with an elevated risk of death.

The study echoes findings from a 1993 Institute of Medicine study, which found a 25 percent higher mortality risk among the uninsured versus those with private coverage.

To learn more about this research:
- read this HealthDay News piece