US life expectancy is already lower than most other high-income countries.
New Delhi: Dramatic gains in life expectancy are set to be seen in developed nations, potentially surpassing 90 years in some countries, a new study published in the Lancet has revealed.
According to the study, out of 35 developed nations, South Korea is likely to see the largest increase in life expectancy, with female life expectancy potentially surpassing 90 years. Likewise, in 2030, UK life expectancy is estimated to reach 85.3 for women and 82.5 for men, and 83.3 for women and 79.5 for men in the USA.
The study predicts life expectancy is likely to be highest in South Korea (90.8 years old), France (88.6 years old) and Japan (88.4 years old) for women, and in South Korea (84.1 years old), Australia (84.0 years old) and Switzerland (84.0 years old) for men.
Following the findings, the researchers advise that increasing life expectancies will have major implications for health and social services that will need to adapt and will require policies to support healthy ageing, increase investment in health and social care, and possibly changes to retirement age. “As recently as the turn of the century, many researchers believed that life expectancy would never surpass 90 years,” said lead author Professor Majid Ezzati, Imperial College London, UK. “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.”
Although life expectancy is predicted to increase across all 35 countries, the extent of the increase varies by country. Comparing 2030 and 2010 life expectancies, female life expectancy is projected to increase most in South Korea, Slovenia and Portugal (6.6, 4.7 and 4.4 years, respectively). While for men life expectancy will increase most in Hungary, South Korea and Slovenia (7.5, 7.0 and 6.4 years).
Significantly, life expectancy is predicted to increase least in Macedonia, Bulgaria, Japan and the USA (1.4, 1.5, 1.8 and 2.1 years) for women, and in Macedonia, Greece and Sweden and the USA (2.4, 2.7, 3.0 and 3.0 years) for men. The USA is predicted to see relatively small improvements in life expectancy (from 81.2 for in 2010 to 83.3 in 2030 for women and 76.5 to 79.5 for men). US life expectancy is already lower than most other high-income countries.