Longer lives for humans? Here’s what it will take

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Image credit: NDPH

How healthy will the world be in 2040?

If things continue as they are now, the answer is better off than we are today: Life expectancy will be, on average, 4.4 years higher for both women and men around the globe by 2040. That’s according to a new report, published [October 16] in the journal The Lancet. But public health choices and policy decisions that we make — or fail to make — now could set us down various paths, the worst of which could see decreased life expectancy in nearly half the world’s countries, the authors reported.

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If things continue apace, as modeled in the “most-likely” scenario, the top eight causes of early death in 2040 are expected to be ischemic heart disease, stroke, lower-respiratory infections, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (a lung disease that blocks airflow), chronic kidney disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and road injuries.

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In this scenario, the life expectancy in the U.S. is projected to be 79.8 years in 2040, up only 1.1 years from the 2016 estimate, the researchers found.

Related article:  Are we reaching the limits of human life expectancy?

This wide range between “better” and “worse” scenarios shows a “precarious vision” of the future, the authors wrote in the study. On the one hand, accelerating technology provides a great opportunity to push toward the “better” scenario, while an absence of policy action could thrust the world into the “worse” scenario.

Read full, original post: Why Life Expectancy in 2040 Could Be Lower Than It Is Today

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