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Life expectancy rises, but people’s lifestyle brings new challenge

The global life expectancy has risen to 73 year old for females and 68 for males who are born in 2012 after surviving child mortality and other diseases, according to the World Health Organization.


Major developments in combating infectious diseases like malaria; polio, tuberculosis and measles are some of the main reasons for the increase of global life expectancy. However, WHO said Thursday that people’s lifestyle poses challenges to the longevity of living.

Baby girls in Japan hold the distinction as having the longest life expectancy in the world, which is 87 years old. They are followed by the boys in Iceland, which extends up to 81 years old. The top 10 countries with the longest life expectancy for both male and female include Luxembourg, Italy, Singapore, Switzerland, and Japan.

WHO chief of statistics and information system Ties Boerma confirmed that there is major growth in life expectancy for the past several decades and are consistently growing.

The countries with the lowest life expectancy are in the sub-Saharan region of Africa. Nine of the countries in the region have life expectancies of only less than 55 years old for both males and females.

One of the main reasons for the lower life expectancy in other countries is change in lifestyle, which may lead to heart problems.

According to Boerma, there is a health shift from successfully decreasing the cases of mortality caused by infectious diseases to higher death cases (even in young ages) because of diseases that are non-communicable.

A life expectancy gain in rich countries where life expectancy is long shows no signs of decreasing. Most countries in the world have experienced increased life expectancy since 1990. There are also many countries who have just recovered after a conflict that shows big gains.

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