Global Life Expectancy Is 6.2 Years Longer Than Before

Global Life Expectancy 6 Years Higher

Photo: OLEGTROINO/Depositphotos

Life expectancy has increased over time, due in large part to modern medicine and access to healthcare. People in the developed world have a much better chance of making it to their elderly years compared to our ancestors 100 years ago or more. A new study, by researchers from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and published in The Lancet, has announced an increase of global life expectancy by 6.2 years since 1990, despite the massive loss of life during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Life expectancy is still skewed by race and class. It also varies heavily by area of the world. Some regions are under resourced and may be more prone to certain diseases based on climate. That being said, there's an overall positive result reported by the study. Sub-saharan African life expectancy jumped 10.7 years. There was an 8.3 year increase in Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Oceania. South Asia saw 7.8 years added, largely due to reduced mortality from diarrheal diseases. Of course, no assessment of mortality is complete without detailed consideration of the massive loss of life cause by the COVID-19 pandemic. The study authors found the pandemic most negatively affected Latin America, the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa in terms of life expectancy.

According to a statement from the IHME, “[t]he leading causes of age-standardized deaths globally were the same in 2019 as they were in 1990; in descending order, these were, ischemic heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and lower respiratory infections. In 2021, however, COVID-19 replaced stroke as the second-leading age-standardized cause of death.” Some diseases like diarrhea and malaria are very geographically concentrated. This knowledge of global life expectancies can inform policy. The researchers suggest, “Analyses of shifting mortality trends reveal that several causes, once widespread globally, are now increasingly concentrated geographically. These changes in mortality concentration, alongside further investigation of changing risks, interventions, and relevant policy, present an important opportunity to deepen our understanding of mortality-reduction strategies.”

Global life expectancy is up by 6.2 years since 1990, even in the face of the massive loss of ilife caused by COVID-19.

Global Life Expectancy 6 Years Higher

Photo: WLAD_MUS/Depositphotos

h/t: [Good News Network]

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Madeleine Muzdakis

Madeleine Muzdakis is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and a historian of early modern Britain & the Atlantic world. She holds a BA in History and Mathematics from Brown University and an MA in European & Russian Studies from Yale University. Madeleine has worked in archives and museums for years with a particular focus on photography and arts education. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys hiking, film photography, and studying law while cuddling with her cat Georgia.
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