People Might Be Living Longer, But They’re Also Sicker Longer

A study researched all major diseases in 188 countries and found that while people are living longer, they are also sicker longer.

While life expectancy has increased,  because of improvements in general health and substantial developments towards curing and fighting diseases like tuberculosis and malaria, healthy life expectancy has not increased as fast.

The study was published in The Lancet journal and was headed by Theo Vos, a professor at the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington told Reuters, “The world has made great progress in health, but now the challenge is to invest in finding more effective ways of preventing or treating the major causes of illness and disability.”

The study took into consideration chronic ailments like heart and lung diseases, diabetes, disabilities, and injuries and other detractors from quality of life. The study found that global life expectancy rose by 6.2 years, from 65.3 in 1990 to 71.5 in 2015, while healthy life expectancy only rose by 5.4 years. However, the study also found that there were a lot of difference between countries in terms of both healthy life expectancies and in rates of change.

For instance, Nicaraguans and Cambodians have seen an increase from 1990 of 14.7 and 13.9 years while Bostwana and Belize saw a decline of 1.3 years. Japan had the highest of highest life expectancy at 73.4 years while Lesotho had the world’s lowest at 42 years.

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