Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Global life expectancy to increase by nearly five years by 2050 – study

Global life expectancy is forecast to increase from 73.6 years of age in 2022 to around 78.1 years of age in 2050 (Yui Mok/PA)
Global life expectancy is forecast to increase from 73.6 years of age in 2022 to around 78.1 years of age in 2050 (Yui Mok/PA)

Life expectancy across the world is expected to increase by almost five years by 2050, new findings suggest.

The forecast indicates that between 2022 and 2050 the life expectancy for men is expected to increase from 71.1 years to 76 years, and from 76.2 years to 80.5 years for women.

According to the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) 2021, countries where life expectancy is currently lower are expected to see the largest increases.

The trend is largely driven by public health measures that have prevented, and improved survival rates from, cardiovascular diseases, Covid-19, and a range of communicable (diseases that spread from one person to another), maternal, neonatal, and nutritional diseases (CMNNs), the experts say.

Dr Chris Murray, chairman of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington in the US, and director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), said: “In addition to an increase in life expectancy overall, we have found that the disparity in life expectancy across geographies will lessen.

“This is an indicator that while health inequalities between the highest and lowest income regions will remain, the gaps are shrinking, with the biggest increases anticipated in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Although global life expectancy is forecast to increase from 2022 to 2050, the improvement was at a slower pace than in the three decades preceding the Covid-19 pandemic, the study found.

This study indicates that the ongoing shift from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – like cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and diabetes – and exposure to NCD-associated risk factors – such as obesity, high blood pressure, unhealthy diet, and smoking – will have the greatest effect on the impact of health issues of the next generation.

Global life expectancy is forecast to increase from 73.6 years of age in 2022 to around 78.1 years of age in 2050 (a 4.5-year increase).

But global healthy life expectancy – the average number of years a person can expect to live in good health – will increase from 64.8 years in 2022 to 67.4 years in 2050 – an increase of only 2.6 years.

This suggests that while more people are expected to live longer, they are expected to spend more years in poor health.

The findings build upon the results of the GBD 2021 risk factors study, also released on Thursday in The Lancet.

The research found that the total number of years lost due to poor health and early death attributable to metabolic risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high BMI, has increased by almost 50% (49.4%) since 2000.

The analysis based its estimates on 88 risk factors and their associated health outcomes for 204 countries and territories from 1990 to 2021.

Particulate matter air pollution, smoking, and low birthweight and short gestation were also among the largest contributors to lost years of healthy life due to poor health and early death in 2021, with considerable variation across ages, sexes, and locations.

The study found that substantial progress was made between 2000 and 2021 in reducing disease attributable to risk factors linked to maternal and child health, unsafe water, sanitation, and handwashing; and household air pollution from cooking with solid fuels.

Dr Emmanuela Gakidou, professor of health metrics sciences at the IHME, said: “Risk factors that currently lead to ill health, such as obesity and other components of metabolic syndrome, exposure to ambient particulate matter air pollution, and tobacco use, must be addressed via a combination of global health policy efforts and exposure reduction to mitigate health risks and improve population health.”

Dr Murray said: “There is immense opportunity ahead for us to influence the future of global health by getting ahead of these rising metabolic and dietary risk factors, particularly those related to behavioural and lifestyle factors like high blood sugar, high body mass index, and high blood pressure.”