• Monday, June 17, 2024

UK News

Global life expectancy to improve by almost five years by 2050: Study

Cropped shot of a senior couple holding hands

By: Vivek Mishra

Life expectancy worldwide is expected to increase by nearly five years for men and over four years for women between 2022 and 2050, according to a study published in The Lancet journal.

Researchers noted that the most significant improvements are anticipated in countries with currently lower life expectancies, contributing to an overall global increase.

Public health measures that prevent and improve survival rates from cardiovascular diseases, Covid-19, and a variety of communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional diseases are largely driving the trend, according to the study’s authors. “In addition to an increase in life expectancy overall, we have found that the disparity in life expectancy across geographies will lessen,” said Chris Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.

“This is an indicator that while health inequalities between the highest and lowest income regions will remain, the gaps are shrinking, with the biggest increases anticipated in Sub-Saharan Africa,” added Murray. The IHME coordinates the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study, which is described as the “largest and most comprehensive effort to quantify health loss across places and over time.”

However, researchers from the GBD 2021 Forecasting Collaborators warned that the ongoing shift in disease burden to non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes, along with associated risk factors like obesity and high blood pressure, will significantly impact the next generation. This shift is expected to increase the years lived with disability (YLDs).

As the disease burden moves from communicable to non-communicable diseases, people are expected to live longer but with more years spent in poor health, the researchers said. Healthy life expectancy, which refers to the number of years one could expect to live in good health, is projected to increase by 2.6 years globally, from 64.8 years in 2022 to 67.4 years in 2050.

In India, the study projects that by 2050, men could have a life expectancy of over 75 years, while for women, it could be almost 80 years. Healthy life expectancy in India is projected to be over 65 years for both men and women.

The GBD 2021 study, which draws on the work of more than 11,000 collaborators, includes over 607 billion estimates of 371 diseases and injuries and 88 risk factors in 204 countries and territories, according to the IHME.



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