Lifespan 2040: US down, China up, Spain on top

Modesto Morganelli
Ottobre 17, 2018

Those living in Spain are forecast to have the longest life expectancy, at 85.8 years, followed closely by Japan at 85.7 years.

Singaporeans will have the third-longest lifespans globally in 2040, according to a study by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), published on Wednesday (Oct 17) in medical journal The Lancet.

With a projected average lifespan of almost 85.8 years, Spain - formerly in 4th place - will dethrone Japan, which sits atop the rankings today with a lifespan of 83.7 years, and will drop to 2nd place in 2040.

New Zealand ranked 17th, with a predicted life expectancy of 83.8 years, gaining one place compared with Kiwis born in 2016 having a life span of 81.5 years.

The top five "drivers", or determinants, of average lifespans two decades from now are all related to so-called "lifestyle" diseases: high blood pressure, being overweight, high blood sugar, along with alcohol and tobacco use.

Palestine is expected to see the biggest dip in ranking, alongside the United States, which is expected to drop from 43rd position in 2016 to 64th in 2040, with average lifespan at 79.8 years - the biggest decrease for high income countries.

While this scenario does predict improvements in life expectancy for most countries, it also predicts that deaths from several noninfectious diseases will rise, the researchers reported. But "inequalities will continue to be large", senior study author Dr. Christopher Murray, director of the IHME, said in the statement. "In a substantial number of countries, too many people will continue earning relatively low incomes, remain poorly educated and die prematurely", he said.

"But nations could make faster progress by helping people tackle the major risks, especially smoking and poor diet". Other countries in the top 10 are expected to be Switzerland, Portugal, Italy, Israel, France, Luxembourg and Australia.

Lesotho, the Central African Republic, Zimbabwe, Somalia and Swaziland are in the basement of the rankings.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics last month showed there was virtually no extension of life expectancy between 2015 and 2017.

Canada is now among the top-ranked countries in the world when it comes to average life expectancy, but could fall to 27 place by 2040 due to projected improvements in other nations, according to a new study.

He said: "The future of the world's health is not pre-ordained, and there is a wide range of plausible trajectories".

Researchers produced forecasts of independent drivers of health, including sociodemographic measurements of fertility, per capita income, and years of education, along with 79 independent drivers of health such as smoking, high body mass index, and lack of clean water and sanitation.

In 2016, the top 10 causes of premature death in Singapore were ischemic heart disease, lower respiratory infections, lung cancer, Alzheimer's disease, stroke, colon and rectum cancer, suicide, chronic kidney disease, liver cancer, and breast cancer.

The leading causes of death in Singapore in 2040 are expected to be: lower respiratory infections, ischemic heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, lung cancer, chronic kidney disease, liver cancer, colon and rectum cancer, stroke, hypertensive heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.

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