News / Health

Study Quantifies That People Are Living Longer

FILE - Elderly people dance on a street during the International Day of Older Persons in Sao Paulo's Avenida Paulista, Brazil, October 2013.
FILE - Elderly people dance on a street during the International Day of Older Persons in Sao Paulo's Avenida Paulista, Brazil, October 2013.
Lisa Schlein
A new report by the World Health Organization finds people are living longer. The organization’s annual statistics report shows people are living an average six years longer than they did in 1990.

The World Health Organization report finds low-income countries have made the greatest progress, with  average life expectancies rising by nine years between 1990 and 2012.  

WHO Department of Health Statistics and Information Systems Director Ties Boerma attributes the improvements to major successes in the health-related Millennium Development Goals.   

“Child mortality is down 47 percent since 1990. Maternal mortality is 45 percent down since 1990. HIV, TB, malaria all have seen major reductions in new infections and in deaths," said Dr. Boerma. "But we also have to acknowledge that many countries will not achieve the Millennium Development Goals ... so much more action is needed.”  

The World Health Statistics 2014 surveys 194 countries. The data show women all over the world live longer than men and the gaps in life expectancy between rich and poor countries persist.  It says declining tobacco use is a key factor in helping people live longer in several countries.

The top six countries where life expectancy from birth has increased the most are Liberia, Ethiopia, Maldives, Cambodia, Timor-Leste, and Rwanda.   

The report cites Iceland as the top-ranked country for life expectancy among men, which is just over 81 years.  Japan comes out on top for women, who live until age 87.  On the bottom of the scale, the report finds life expectancy for both men and women is still less than 55 years in nine sub-Saharan countries.

The leading causes for years of life lost are ischaemic heart disease, pneumonia, and stroke, followed by preterm birth complications, diarrheal diseases and HIV/AIDS. The report says infectious diseases and related conditions are the major causes of more than 70 percent of premature deaths in 22 African countries.  

Meanwhile, it finds non-communicable diseases and injuries account for more than 90 percent of years of life lost in 47 high-income countries.

Boerma told VOA that spectacular progress has been made in countries where strong government leadership promotes health services.

“One lesson though is that if the political unstable situation resolves, we have seen in many countries a catch-up, really fast progress. Examples: Liberia, which is now our fastest progressing country, Rwanda, but also Cambodia.”

Boerma noted that such practices as good delivery care for women, family planning and immunizations are aiding the progress.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Luke Thomas
May 15, 2014 9:42 PM
Living longer and the nursing homes are filling up to top capacity. Sweet.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid