Lifestyle & Belief

World living longer but not necessarily healthier, says study


A new comprehensive study shows that people are living longer but not necessarily healthier.


Gustavo Caballero

A new report shows that people are living longer and less children are dying of diseases.

Yet, the study also showed that people are not necessarily living healthier lives with many grappling with chronic illnesses.

The study included work from 300 institutions and 10,000 data sources, said USA Today, compiling survey data, censuses, hospital records, among other sources.

Computer models mapped the data to better understand health and life expectancy around the world.

The Associated Press reported that the last comprehensive study of global health of this magnitude occurred in 1990.

The researchers found many changes since then.

Life expectancy around the world jumped from 59 to 70 during that time with women living five years longer than men.

That said, the number of years people live with chronic illness has also increased, meaning that despite living longer, we may not be getting healthier.

NPR said that child deaths under the age of 5 was numbered at more than 10 million and was, in 1990s, considered the biggest health challenge.

Diseases like measles and polio were rampant and starvation in children also remained a major problem.

The Associated Press said that the 10 million children dying has been reduced to seven million despite population growth.

Starvation is now less of a problem than obesity and overeating, except in Africa.

"The biggest contributor to the global health burden isn't premature (deaths), but chronic diseases, injuries, mental health conditions and all the bone and joint diseases," said study leader Christopher Murray, of the University of Washington, according to ABC News.

The study also found that the Japanese live the longest while those in Burkina Faso lived the shortest lives.