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

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid