Live expectancy to lift by five years by 2050

Life expectancy to increase by five years - Newsreel
News research suggests life expectancy across the globe will increase by five years by 2050. | Photo: Skynesher (iStock)

Average life expectancy across the globe is expected to increase by five years by 2050 as disparities between countries lessen.

The latest findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study, published in The Lancet, predict that life expectancy will increase by 4.9 years in men and 4.2 years for women between 2022 and 2050.

On the flip side, despite living longer, many people will spend more years in poor health as medical science keeps people with ailments and disabilities alive for longer.

“Global life expectancy is forecasted to increase from 73.6 years of age in 2022 to 78.1 years of age in 2050 (a 4.5-year increase),” the study report said.

“Life expectancy increases are projected to be greater in countries with lower life expectancies, reducing global disparities.

“There will be a continued shift in disease burden from communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional diseases to non-communicable diseases.”

The study found that increased life expectancy was largely driven by improved survival rates from heart disease, COVID-19, and a range of other communicable, neonatal and nutritional diseases.

“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 (a 2.6-year increase),” the report said.

“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.”

Dr Chris Murray, Chair of Health Metrics Sciences at the University of Washington and Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) said an accompanying study found the risk of poor health and early death from “metabolic” risk factors had increased by 50 percent since 2000.

“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,” he said.

More details on the IHME website.