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.

Related article:  Precision medicine--Next new thing or over hyped bust? (Or both?)

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.

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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