Sunday, July 25, 2004

Life expectancy and good health

BBC News reports the continuing rise of life expectancy in the UK. In 2001, average life expectancy for women was 80.4 years, and 75.7 for men. However, years lived in good health have not increased as rapidly.

'In 1981, the average man could expect to live in poor health for 6.5 years. By 2001, this had risen to 8.7 years. Women can expect to endure poor health for even longer. In 1981, the average women could expect 10.1 years of poor health, but in 2001 the average figure had risen to 11.6 years.'

for women

Life expectancy 1981: 76.8
Life expectancy 2001: 80.4
Increase: 4.69%

Years of good health 1981: 66.7
Years of good health 2001: 69.8
Increase: 4.65%

for men

Life expectancy 1981: 70.9
Life expectancy 2001: 75.7
Increase: 6.8%

Years of good health 1981: 64.5
Years of good health 2001: 67
Increase: 3.9%

So, the rate of increase in years of good health certainly seems lower for men than the rise in life expectancy, but that does not seem to be the case for women, where the rates are almost identical. Of course, this will mean more actual years of ill-health, which is not good, but for both groups it means more years of good health than before. So why so negative?

Moreover, setting aside all the bullshit about lifestyle for a moment, shouldn't it be a matter of grave concern that simply being a man reduces life expectancy by five years? Perhaps if the many millions being wasted on public health campaigns were devoted to this subject, men could hope to live a little longer.

BBC NEWS Health Poor health blight is increasing

1 Comments:

At 2:05 PM, Anonymous said...

Well, by right i will live my 3 score years and ten! No less!



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