Overall, people around the world are living longer. But, they may be spending more years sick due to chronic diseases according to research published in The Lancet. The 2017 Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study was recently published and this massive document contains information on some interesting global trends.
Lifespans Have Increased!
The study shows a continuing trend towards increased lifespans in people today. Life expectancy at birth has increased overall from 1970 to 2016. Babies born in 1970 averaged a worldwide life expectancy of 58.4 years, while those born in 2016 have an average expected lifespan of 72.5 years old. This is an average increase of 14.1 years!
On the downside, the number of deaths in younger adults between the ages of 25 to 49 has also increased from 1970 to 2016 in certain countries, including the United States. They also found that many people are living with the chronic disease for a longer period of their lives.
What’s Causing the Problem?
The cause of the increased mortality rates in younger adults isn’t as clear because less research has been done on this group. However, the study did report that potential mortality factors include:
- chronic kidney disease
- ischaemic heart disease
In fact, the study found that poor diet was connected to one out of every seven deaths around the world in 2016. The poor diet was typically high in sodium, and low in complex carbohydrates, fruits, nuts, seeds, and fish oil.
Such a diet contributes to risk factors for poor health, like high blood pressure, elevated blood sugars, cholesterol, and obesity.
While more research and effort is put into successfully keeping people alive for longer, it seems that less effort is put into a good quality of life. In addition, the resulting health problems from poor diet, addiction, and untreated mental illness also contributed to mortality rates. Up to 72% of death rates resulted from non-communicable, chronic diseases.References
Mental disorders, poor diets and tobacco make the world sick. URL Link. Accessed September 18, 2017.
Global, regional, and national under-5 mortality, adult mortality, age-specific mortality, and life expectancy, 1970–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. URL Link. Accessed September 18, 2017.