People live longer but are not always healthier: study

Jeanne Louise Calment (born in 1875 / died 1997) world’s oldest person

Friday 14 December 2012

PARIS: People live more than a decade longer on average today than they did in 1970, but spend much of these boon years battling diseases like cancer, according to a global health review published Thursday.

By 2010, a man’s life expectancy at birth had risen 11.1 years from 1970 and that of a woman 12.1 years, said the bundle of seven studies published by The Lancet medical journal.

But as we live longer, bigger chunks of our lives are marred by illness, with non-infectious maladies like cancer and heart disease claiming ever more victims.

“Over the last 20 years, globally, we’ve added about five years to life expectancy, but only about four years to healthy life expectancy,” Josh Salomon from the Harvard School of Public Health, a study partner, told AFP by e-mail.
“You can think about it as adding the equivalent of four years of good health and one year of bad health.”

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