Canada's ranking on global life expectancy scale expected to drop by 2040

17 Octobre, 2018, 15:39 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • The average life expectancy in Singapore is forecast to be 85.4 years in 2040

Researchers from the University of Washington are slightly more optimistic, predicting that if trends continue as they are, the average person in the United Kingdom will live a year longer with each decade that passes.

Beneath Spain in the top 10 will be Japan, with a 2040 life expectancy of 85.7 years, Singapore (85.4), Switzerland (85.2), Portugal and Italy (84.5), Israel (84.4), France (84.3), and Luxembourg and Australia (84.1).

The UK is expected to remain outside of the top 20, ranking 23rd with a lifespan of 83.3, and the U.S. will drop from 43rd to 64th place - with an increase of just one year - the study claims. Best case, all countries will probably experience a slight increase in lifespan over the next two decades.

The increase in Singaporeans' life expectancy can be attributed to its health system and how key health issues are addressed, says the study on health and life expectancy.

"The future of the world's health is not preordained, and there is a wide range of plausible trajectories", lead author Kyle Foreman, director of data science at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington in Seattle, said in a statement. The key health drivers that can lead to early death are high blood pressure, high body-mass index, high blood sugar, and tobacco and alcohol use, he added.

The study, published on Tuesday in the worldwide medical journal The Lancet, projects a significant increase in deaths from non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic kidney disease, and lung cancer, as well as worsening health outcomes linked to obesity.

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The top 10 causes of death in SA in 2016 were HIV/Aids, lower respiratory infections, road injuries, interpersonal violence, tuberculosis, diabetes, ischemic heart disease, diarrhoeal diseases, stroke and premature birth complications. They will include lower respiratory infections, ischaemic heart disease - a disease characterised by reduced blood supply to the heart - Alzheimer's disease, lung cancer and chronic kidney disease.

Researchers produced forecasts of independent drivers of health, including sociodemographic measurements of fertility, per capita income, and years of education, along with 79 independent drivers of health such as smoking, high body mass index, and lack of clean water and sanitation.

"Inequalities will continue to be large", said researcher Dr Christopher Murray. Then, the researchers plugged in numbers to predict three separate scenarios: a "most-likely" forecast, a "better-health" scenario and a "worse-health" scenario. "In a substantial number of countries, too many people will continue earning relatively low incomes, remain poorly educated and die prematurely", he said. But public health choices and policy decisions that we make - or fail to make - now could set us down various paths, the worst of which could see decreased life expectancy in almost half the world's countries, the authors reported.

With the exception of Afghanistan, the bottom 30 countries in 2040 - with projected lifespans between 57 and 69 years - are either in sub-Saharan Africa or small island states in the Pacific.

Fifty-nine countries, including China, are projected to surpass a life expectancy of 80 years by 2040.

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