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Life Expectancy Slated to Grow

Advances May Add Almost Five Years

Life Expectancy Slated to Grow

By John Salak –

Good news for those wishing to live longer and who believe they’ll still be around in 2050. The Global Burden of Disease Study forecasts that global life expectancy will increase by 4.9 years in males and 4.2 years in females between 2022 and 2050.

Admittedly, the greatest increases are expected to be in countries where life expectancy is lower, but longer average lifespans are expected to be registered worldwide. The increase is largely driven by public health measures that have prevented and improved survival rates from cardiovascular diseases, COVID-19 as well as communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional diseases.

The study underscored the ongoing shift in disease burden to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes, as well as their associated risk factors, such as obesity, high blood pressure, non-optimal diet and smoking. These diseases will present the biggest burden for the next generation.

Global life expectancy is now forecasted to increase from 73.6 years of age in 2022 to 78.1 years of age in 2050. Along with this, global healthy life expectancy (HALE)—the average number of years a person can expect to live in good health—will increase from 64.8 years in 2022 to 67.4 years in 2050, a jump of 2.6 years.

“In addition to an increase in life expectancy overall, we have found that the disparity in life expectancy across geographies will lessen,” noted Dr. Chris Murray, Chair of Health Metrics Sciences 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.”

The initial report did not break out life expectancy increases for developed countries just as the U.S., which ranks 47th in the world, well behind Japan, Switzerland, Italy and Australia, among others. But the Disease Study’s overall findings counter the widening lifespan gap between men and women in the U.S.

The study also projected how alternative lifespan scenarios could be affected by different public health interventions related to lifestyle and diet to key risk factor groups by 2050.

“There is immense opportunity ahead for us to influence the future of global health by getting ahead of these rising metabolic and dietary risk factors, particularly those related to behavioral and lifestyle factors like high blood sugar, high body mass index, and high blood pressure,” Murray explained.





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