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Life expectancy continues to grow - gender gap narrows
Although experts thought it was impossible for a long time, a new study now shows that the average life expectancy in industrialized countries could soon rise to over 90 years. According to the investigation, the gap between women and men is expected to narrow.
Germans are getting older too
Last year, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported increasing life expectancy worldwide. That of the Germans had even reached a new record level. A recent study now shows that the life expectancy of children in industrialized countries born in 2030 could increase to over 90 years.
Maximum life expectancy
The trend that people are getting older has long been known, but according to experts there is an upper limit. For example, US scientists reported that the maximum life expectancy was limited to 115 years.
Other researchers, on the other hand, believe that it can even be increased tenfold. However, a large number of the experts doubt that people can live that long.
A team led by Vasilis Kontis from Imperial College London has now concluded in a study that the life expectancy of children in industrialized countries born in 2030 could increase to over 90 years.
Data from 35 industrialized countries analyzed
For their study, the scientists had analyzed data from 35 countries, including Germany. The results, published in The Lancet, also show that the gap between men and women in life expectancy is expected to narrow.
Using the birth and death data of the World Health Organization (WHO) and a statistical model, the experts calculated life expectancy in 35 industrialized countries for the year 2030.
They found that life expectancy for men will increase in all countries with a probability of at least 85 percent and for women with a probability of 65 percent.
Especially women from South Korea can get very old
Regional differences are also mentioned. For example, women in South Korea will have a life expectancy of over 90 years in 2030 with a probability of 57 percent.
The authors point out that reaching the 90-year mark at the beginning of the century was still considered impossible by most experts. According to the study, women from France, Spain and Japan are almost as old as the South Koreans.
In Germany, people are also getting older all the time. The life expectancy of men in Germany is currently around 78 years and is expected to increase to almost 82 by 2030. For German women, life expectancy will increase by three years in this period from the current almost 86 years.
Gender difference is shrinking
The data also shows that the difference in life expectancy between women and men generally shrinks, but not everywhere.
Commenting on the study, it says: "The gender difference is expected to decrease by 2030 in most industrialized countries except Mexico, Chile, France and Greece."
Women are said to currently live longer than men in the countries studied because men are more likely to suffer fatal injuries and behavior, such as smoking, that increases their risk of diseases such as lung cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Study leader Majid Ezzati said in a "Lancet" announcement that her predictions about higher life expectancy are evidence of success in healthcare. However, it is important that politics support the growing older population.
The commentary said that life expectancy prediction can "help governments and health services make the right investments in health, such as warding off deaths from infectious diseases and reducing maternal and child mortality." (ad)