Life expectancy has increased globally by 6.2 years in the last 30 years – 2024-04-06 01:12:33

Life expectancy has increased by 6.2 years since 1990 as major causes of death such as diarrhoea, lower respiratory infections, strokes and ischemic heart disease were tackled, according to a study published in ‘The Lancet’. However, poor management of the Covid-19 pandemic limited progress in many places.

The region that includes Southeast Asia, East Asia and Oceania had the largest increase in life expectancy between 1990 and 2021 of 8.3 years, mainly due to a decrease in mortality from chronic respiratory diseases, stroke, lower respiratory tract infections respiratory and cancer. Strong pandemic management has helped maintain these numbers.

South Asia had the second largest increase in life expectancy (7.8 years), largely thanks to a sharp decline in deaths from diarrheal diseases.

Regionally, eastern sub-Saharan Africa experienced the largest increase in life expectancy, at 10.7 years.

Overall, reductions in deaths from enteric diseases increased global life expectancy by 1.1 years between 1990 and 2021. Reductions in deaths from lower respiratory tract infections added 0.9 years to global life expectancy. Advances in preventing death from other causes, including stroke, neonatal disorders, ischemic heart disease and cancer, have also contributed to the increase in life expectancy.

Researchers highlight the locations where some of the most burdensome diseases are now concentrated, highlighting opportunities for intervention. For example, in 2021 deaths from enteric diseases were largely concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia. Furthermore, 90% of malaria deaths occurred in a region inhabited by just 12% of the world’s population and stretching from western sub-Saharan Africa, through central Africa, to Mozambique.

Researchers also find uneven progress by diseases such as ischemic heart disease, stroke and cancer. High-income countries have reduced deaths from many types of noncommunicable diseases, unlike many low-income countries.

The study, conducted by the US independent research Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, also highlights how Covid-19 has radically changed the five leading causes of death for the first time in 30 years. It displaced a long-dominant killer, stroke, and became the second leading cause of death worldwide. The regions most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic were Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as sub-Saharan Africa.

Finally, the study reveals increasing threats from non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes and kidney diseases, which are increasing in every country.

Source: RES-MPE

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