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Surprising Science

Global Life Expectancy on the Rise

The planet’s life expectancy is up to 71.5 years according to a new study. This is a six-year improvement from 1990.

Here’s some positive news from Justin Worland writing in TIME

“Life expectancy across the globe has increased by more than six years since 1990 to 71.5 years, according to a new study.”

That means that, over the past 25 years, every world region with the exception of sub-Saharan Africa has seen life expectancy numbers rise. As Worland writes, deaths from cancer and heart disease are down in high-income nations. Other relatively milder maladies across the globe also experienced survival rate upticks while infant mortality rates continue to fall. The study as a whole reflects progress made over the past two decades to better treat illnesses and injuries worldwide. 

That said, Worland makes sure to note that it’s not all good news:

“Despite the improvement, the number of deaths from a number of ailments increased. Perhaps most dramatically, deaths from HIV/AIDS joined the list of the top 10 causes of premature death. The number of annual deaths from the ailment rose from 2.07 million in 1990 to 2.63 million in 2013, the equivalent of a 344% increase in years of lost life. The increase in deaths from HIV/AIDS made southern sub-Saharan Africa the only region worldwide to experience a decline in life expectancy.”

HIV/AIDS is still a major obstacle toward a healthy globe and will probably be the biggest challenge of the next quarter-century. At the same time, we can take solace in the fact that improvements have been made in other realms. Take a look at the full story (linked below) and let us know what you think. 

Read more at TIME

Photo credit: orangecrush / Shutterstock


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