A new major diseases study has revealed a happy, yet also sad truth about how humans live on planet earth. While the life expectancy has risen considerably in the last years, a lot of people have to live longer, but while being sick and undergoing treatment for different types of diseases. We have come a long way, managing to help those around us living a few more years, but not better years.
Some of the diseases that we have learn to combat very effectively are malaria and HIV/AIDS and we are also making considerable progress when it comes to child illnesses, even maternal ones. But living healthily is still an issue. The study, which was published in The Lancet, reveals the truth behind increased life expectancy.
Theo Vos, a distinguished professor from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation located in Washington and the leader of the project, explained how far we have come in terms of health progress. The study’s results were quite remarkable, showing that life expectancy all over the globe has risen to levels some of us probably did not even conceive.
Across the world, life expectancy at birth for both boys and girls has risen by 6.2 years: while in 1990 the life expectancy was 65.3, in 2013 it grew to 71.5. Healthy life expectancy also made progress with a 5.4 year rise from 1990, from 56.9, to 62.3 in 2013.
The study was conducted in 188 countries and, for most of them, the changes in healthy life expectancy were “significant and positive” in between 1990 and 2013. There are exceptions, of course. Countries like Syria, Belize or Botswana did not register much improvement from 1990 until 2013.
There are countries in which healthy life expectancy has even gone down. People in Paraguay, Belarus or South Africa expected to have a less healthy life than they did 20 years ago and in Swaziland and Lesotho people were convinced that they would live 10 fewer healthy years than in 1990.
But the health study did not stop here. It also registered great changes between countries with very high and very low life expectancy. There were also numerous changes identified when it came down to the direction of change and rates.
Countries like Cambodia or Nicaragua have registered massive changes since 1990, amounting to 14.7 and 13.9 extra years added to every expectancy. Botswana and Belize only bore witness to a slight 1.3 decline.
On the other hand, 2013’s Lesotho had the lowest life expectancy in the world with only 42 years, but Japan had the highest one with 73.4 years to go.
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