According to a new study, the average life expectancy is rising steadily in developed countries. The study shows that the life expectancy of people living in developed countries will increase by 2030. It is expected that South Koreans will live the longest, while Americans will live the shortest.
The study conducted by Imperial College London and the World Health Organization examined the life spans in 35 developed countries and came to the conclusion that the life expectancy gap between men and women will gradually begin to close. They also reported that babies born in 2030 will have an increase in their overall average life span.
Past reports had earlier reported that due to a more unhealthy lifestyle, men had shorter life spans than women. According to a Professor of global environmental health at Imperia College London, Majid Ezzati, men smoked, drank more and had more traffic accidents than women. “However, as lifestyles become more similar between men and women, so does their longevity.”
South Korea has the highest life expectancy rates for both men and women. South Korean women are expected to live past 90, while the men are expected to live above 84. It is not that South Korea has the highest life expectancy in both men and women due to the fact that they have invested heavily in nutrition as well as universal health care. They also have the lowest obesity rates in the world and are very much efficient in how they deal with hypertension.
France, Japan, Spain and Switzerland all came behind South Korea, with the women in those countries projected to live until 88. Next were Australia, Switzerland, Canada and the Netherlands at nearly 84, reports AP News.
While all these countries are showing promising signs of increasing more in average life expectancy, same cannot be said of United States of America. They fall far behind other developed countries and this troubling trend is expected to continue. In fact, the study predicts that by 2030, the U.S. will have an average age of 83 for women (currently 81) and 80 for men (currently 76.3). This means that American women will fall to 27th out of 35 countries, from their current ranking of 25, and men will fall from 23rd to 26th, according to AP News.
Obviously, certain factors influence the longevity in certain countries. Factors like environment, social genetic plays its part. It is noted that countries that have higher expectancy rate invests greatly in their health systems and ensure they make policy that enables everyone have access to this system.
In light of these findings, countries with lower life expectancy rates are expected to make immediate changes to ensure that citizens of such countries get access to better health systems, improve their lifestyle as well as environmental and social factors that contributes to a higher life expectancy.
“What South Korea has done goes completely against some Western countries … against the prosperity agenda,” Ezzati explains. Things like social care, planning and pensions in an aging population need to be addressed.
For persons living in countries with low life expectancy rate, traveling to another country may not be a feasible option. However, self examination and a healthy lifestyle will go a long way in helping increase life expectancy.