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A baby girl born in South Korea in 2030 will probably have a life expectancy of 90 years, and many other countries around the world are not far behind.
A recent study has found that life expectancy may soon exceed 90 years. Global life expectancy in developed countries is increasing, both for new-born babies and people of all ages. The findings have disproved many previously held assumptions about how long we are capable of living. Many believed that average lifetimes would never exceed 90 years .
The results of this research have just been published in the highly respected Lancet medical journal2. The study was carried out by an international team of scientists and they forecasted future life expectancy of babies born in 35 developed countries.
However, the study does not take into account the possible impacts of large events such as natural disasters or outbreaks of disease, which have the potential to take a toll on lives around world1.
How long will future babies live?
The highest life expectancy predicted by the study was for women in South Korea. The scientists found that a baby girl born in South Korea in 2030 is likely to have a life expectancy of 90.8 years, and a baby boy born at the same time is likely to live to 84.1 years. The researchers put this down to its strong economy and good education system. In the UK, female babies born in 2030 are predicted to live to be 85.2 years on average, and male babies to 82.5 years1.
The USA seems to buck the trend, and is expected to have the lowest life expectancy out of all developed countries in the world by 2030. Life expectancy is still predicted to rise, but the increase will be slower than in other countries. It is thought that this is in part due to the rise in obesity and a lack of equal access to healthcare1.
Current life expectancy among women is higher than among men and this trend looks likely to continue in the future although the gap is shrinking.
Women tend to live longer than men on average because unhealthy lifestyle choices such as smoking and drinking heavily are more common among men2.
What will this mean?
Increasing life expectancy presents new challenges for health and social care, particularly care for the elderly.
Prof Majid Ezzati of Imperial College London who led the study said: “Our predictions of increasing lifespans highlight our public health and healthcare successes. However, it is important that policies to support the growing older population are in place. In particular, we will need to both strengthen our health and social care systems and to establish alternative models of care, such as technology assisted home care.”1
How to live to 90
No matter what your official life expectancy is, you can maximise your chances of living to see 90 by living a healthy lifestyle. It’s important to avoid controllable risk factors for common and potentially serious conditions such as cancer and heart disease. You can take care of yourself by:
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight
- Limiting your alcohol consumption and not binge drinking
- Being active and getting at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week3
- Not smoking
Living a healthy lifestyle makes it more likely that you’ll live longer, and enjoy a better quality of life for longer.
If you want to get a detailed idea of exactly how healthy you are, and what steps you could be taking to improve your overall health, book in for a health assessment. It’s an ideal way to highlight any health issues as early as possible, and a specialist nurse will be able to make recommendations on ways to improve your lifestyle.
To find out more call us on 0808 101 0337
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