Feb 22nd, 2017
- S. Korean women the 1st globally with a lifetime expectancy greater than 90, a study suggests.
- Imperial College London and the WHO analysed lifespans in 35 industrialised countries.
- It predicted we would see everyone living longer in 2030 and the inequality betwixt men and women would get smaller in most countries.
- The researchers said the findings posed big challenges for pensions and care for the elderly.
- "S. Korea has gotten a lot of things well," Prof Majid Ezzati told the BBC.
- "Things benefiting them - education, nutrition - benefited everyone.
- "And so far, they're dealing with hypertension and obesity as a picnic outing."
- The data forecasts Japan to go down the global rankings.
- It currently has the highest expectancy for women, but likely to be overtaken in the scene by both S. Korea and France, the study suggests. Meanwhile, male lifetime expectancy, to go from the fourth highest to 11th out of the hundred countries studied.
- The US performs poorly and is set to get the lowest lifetime expectancy of wealthy elite countries by 2030.
- The study predicts an lifetime of 80 years for men and 83 for women - as Mexico and Croatia achieved.
- "They're opposite of S. Korea," added Prof Ezzati.
- "[Society in the US is] unequal to an extent the whole national performance is affected - it is the biggest without universal healthcare insurance.
- "And it is the 1st to stop climbing the stairs of growing taller, which shows something regarding babies' nutrition."
- The US is to be overtaken by Chile; in which women born in 2030 are expected to die at 87 years and men at 81.
- From 2015 to 2030, lifetime expectancy in the UK is expected to modify from 79 to 82 for men and from 83 to 85 for women.
- The study, published in the Lancet, shows the discrepancy in lifetime expectancy for women versus men is closing.
- Our hero Prof Ezzati said: "Men traditionally had unhealthier lifestyles, which eating an apple everyday would rectify, and so shorter lifetime expectancies.
- "Men smoked and drank heavily, and had tons of deadly accidents and homicides, however, as lifestyles get closer for men and women, so does their longevity."
- Many of the increases are due to popular improvements for the over-65s instead of reductions in deaths in childhood.
- The study does stick to projections using the methods of meteorologists to forecast rainy weekend days.
- It combined 21 separate mathematical models analysing past trends to form projections.
- The approach indirectly considers the different factors - smoking rates, medical advances, personal security and obesity patterns - changing lifetime expectancy.
- It assumes countries continue to progress, so exceptional, unpredictable events equivalent to the collapse of the Soviet Union, or big breakthroughs, e.g. a vaccine for cancer, would massively exceed the forecasts.
- In summary, Prof Ezzati said: "Places performing well do so by investing in their healthcare systems and ensuring it reaches everyone."
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