With new medical breakthroughs occurring every day, you could expect human life to continue to increase over time. And according to a new study published in Lancet this could indeed be the case over the next two decades.
But the predicted increase in longevity is not as optimistic as some experts say – especially not in the United States. In some scenarios, global life expectancy could even decline.
The analysis used data from the years 1990 to 2016 to forecast disease rates and life expectancy by 2040. Specifically, the authors studied 250 causes of death with 79 independent factors that play a role in health, and made predictions for 1
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First, the Good News: Around the world, an improvement in most factors of health and well-being by the year 2040 was predicted. On average, global life expectancy should be 4.4 years for men and 4.4 years for women
It has been predicted that 79 health factors will get worse over time. These included a high body mass index (BMI), air pollution, high cholesterol levels and some dietary habits – such as eating too little whole grains and fruits. Overall, the factors that contributed most to early death were high blood pressure, high BMI, high blood sugar, smoking, and alcohol intake.
The top three causes of death in 2016 – Heart disease, stroke and lower respiratory tract infections – According to the new study, this will be the case in 2040 as well. COPD, traffic accidents and diarrhea are also expected to stay in the top 10. But other leading causes of deaths such as malaria, premature birth, HIV / AIDS and neonatal encephalopathy are expected to fall out of the top 10 to be replaced by chronic kidney disease, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and lung cancer.
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The study also included models for "better" and "worse" health scenarios, based on the 85 and 15 percentiles, the past rates of change. In the "better" scenario, life expectancy would increase by 7.8 years for men and 7.2 years for women. In the "worse" scenario, however, men's life expectancy would actually decline by about half a year and remain essentially unchanged for women.
At country level, the study predicted Spain – followed by Japan, Singapore and Switzerland – would lead to a global longevity in 2040, with an average life expectancy of more than 85 years. At the other end of the spectrum, the Central African Republic, Lesotho, Somalia and Zimbabwe would all have life expectancies below 65, "suggesting that global disparities in survival are likely to persist if current trends continue," the authors wrote
States are somewhere in the middle of the projections of 2040 and are expected to grow slower than other countries. By this time, 20 places should be in the ranking – the biggest drop of all high-income countries – from 43 rd to 64 th . The average American lifespan is expected to rise from 78.7 to just 79.8
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In an interview with The Guardian study author Christopher Murray, MD, a professor of health metrics at the University of Washington, said that the United States has seen a "slowdown in progress" and in terms of life expectancy and "increasingly worse than compared to Europe" general health. He cites the effects of the opioid epidemic and the rising rates of heart disease and chronic respiratory disease.
This is not the first time in recent years that the United States has not received such good news in this department. In 2016, it was reported that life expectancy in the US declined between 2014 and 2015 for the first time since the AIDS crisis of the mid-1990s. The following year the trend was repeated.
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