Longer but not always better: global life expectancy on the rise.

Longer but not always better: global life expectancy on the rise.

Studies indicate that people everywhere are living longer but they may not be living in better health.

The world’s people may be living longer but they are frequently doing so while sick.  New research shows that while global life expectancy has increased, healthy life expectancy is not keeping up with the trend.

Scientists have studied life expectancy in all 188 world countries for decades to identify trends of health and longevity.  As The Press Examiner reports, medical advances in areas of vaccines, neonatal care, maternal care, and nutritional development have pushed overall life expectancy over 6 years since 1990.  In developed countries, women’s life expectancy has moved from 78 to 82 years old and men’s life expectancy has raised from 70 to 75 years.

However, studies also show that people are living longer with illness and disability.  The scientific measure of “healthy life expectancy” has only grown by 5 years on average, revealing it is not keeping pace with basic life expectancy.  Researchers admit that the same medical advances that have prolonged lives have not always ensured those lives were “well.”

Japan is the country with the highest healthy life expectancy, totaling 73 years.  Countries such as Lesotho, Afghanistan, and Mozambique ranked in the lowest healthy life expectancies.

According to the TV Newsroom, HIV/AIDS continues to remain a communicable epidemic in Africa.  While medication has prolonged the life expectancy with the diagnosis, it is still the largest cause of health loss in the world.

Poor health is linked to increased burden on economic resources as countries must deal with large aging populations that require significant care.  Researchers indicate that more work is needed to find ways to keep the healthy life expectancy on track with the regular life expectancy.



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