Thursday, May 15, 2014

Life expectancy up worldwide; Remains below 55yrs in Nigeria

Life expectancy up worldwide; Remains below 55years in Nigeria
The news that people around the world continues to live longer is particularly true for Japanese but not for Nigerians. The World Health Organization says in an annual report released Thursday that life expectancy remains below 55 years in nine countries, all in sub-Saharan Africa: Angola, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Mozambique, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

The United States does better than average, with a female life expectancy of 81 and male life expectancy of 76 – but ranks 37th overall and does not make the top 10 for either gender. Top honors go to Japan for women (87 years) and Iceland for men (81.2 years).

The best-improved countries include several that have made double-digit gains since 1990. Those include Liberia, which saw a 20-year increase (from 42 to 62); Ethiopia (from 45 to 64), Maldives (58 to 77), Cambodia (54 to 72), Timor-Leste (also known as East Timor) (50 to 66) and Rwanda (48 to 65).

WHO says several factors are at work:

• In poor countries, fewer children are dying before age 5, thanks to advances against premature birth, birth complications and childhood infections.

• In rich countries, fewer people are dying of heart disease and stroke before reaching 60, thanks to blood pressure control and other preventive efforts.

• In many countries, declining tobacco use is extending lives.


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