Over the past 35 years the global life expectancy has risen by a staggering 10 years according to The Global Burden of Disease study. This is due to the progression in treatments for life-threatening diseases, however diet, obesity and drug use are now indicated as significant causes of death and disability. This rise in life expectancy increases the risk of ill health and disability in later life, which may result in the need for mobility scooters, like the TGA mobility scooters, to get around.
The study reviews the cause of illness, disability and death in each country and the results have shown an improvement in health, but this differs country to country. As the life expectancy rises, there is also concern as results show more people are suffering from ill health and disability in later life.
The life expectancy from 1980 to 2015 has increased across the globe, with the average now being 69 years in men and 74.8 years for women. The study found that an alarming 70% of deaths are caused from lifestyle factors, the main ones being heart disease and diabetes- which can be prevented or managed by changes in diet and lifestyle.
“Development drives, but does not determine health,” according to Dr Christopher Murray, the director of the Institute. “We see countries that have improved far faster than can be explained by income, education or fertility. And we also continue to see countries – including the United States- that are far less healthy than they should be given their resources.”
A lack of iron in people’s diet was the main reasons why people suffered with low back and neck pain, sight and hearing loss, depression and anaemia according to the study. Whilst several environmental factors showed a significant impact on people’s health worldwide. Drug use and being around pollutants such as diesel exhaust or benzene in their working lives had an impact on diabetes, heart disease and cancer- according to the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. Those who choose to indulge in bad diets, which were high in salt and low in fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, nuts, seeds and sea-foods also had a negative impact on these diseases.
Worldwide progress has been made in decreasing the health threats from smoking, unsafe sanitation and water and household air pollution. With exposure to smoke falling by over a quarter worldwide, however it is a leading risk factor for ill health in the UK and US.
Professor John Newton of Public Health England, who acted as the chair of the European Burden of Disease Network for the study commented on the results of the study: “This presents a great opportunity for prevention both in England and worldwide. Consequences of a poor diet now account for 10% of all ill-health worldwide and levels of alcohol consumption and air pollution have hardly changed. We can tackle all of this and more through committed individual, national and global action.”
Image credit: Candida Performa, Available under Creative Commons.