Canada's ranking on global life expectancy scale expected to drop by 2040

Leslie Hanson
October 20, 2018

New report tells this which is published on Oct 16 in the journal The Lancet.

The study also predicted that several high-income countries, such as the United States, Canada and Norway, are expected to slip significantly in the rankings, as other countries make larger gains. It predicts that, despite all our medical advances, the average person born in the 2040 will only barely live longer than an American born in 2016. That's an increase of only 1.1 years since 2016, well below the global average increase of 4.4 years.

But they are easily outranked by the super-healthy Spanish, whose predicted average lifespan of 85.8 years makes them front-runners in the list.

However, the researchers say there is "great potential to alter the downward trajectory of health" by addressing key risk factors, levels of education, and per capita income. "But whether we see signficant progress or stagnation depends on how well or poorly health systems address key health drivers".

The top five health drivers that explain most of the future trajectory for premature mortality are high blood pressure, high body mass index, high blood sugar, tobacco use, and alcohol use, Foreman said.

Ranking a close sixth is air pollution, which scientists estimate claims a million lives a year in China alone.

In contrast, the life expectancy in Palestinian territories is expected to drop the most, from 114 place (71.9 years) to 152 (72.2 years).

In a shift that will be seen by some to reflect a superpower changing-of-the-guard, the world's two largest economies effectively swap positions compared to 2016: in 2040 the U.S. drops from 43rd to 64th (79.8 years), while China rises from 68th to 39th (81.9 years).

By 2040, it will have an average lifespan of almost 85.8 years, moving it from fourth place to the top of the table, and beating Japan's average lifespan of 85.7.

In 2016, China's average life expectancy was 76.3 years, putting the nation at 68th in the world.

IHME director Dr Christopher Murray said: "In a substantial number of countries, too many people will continue earning relatively low incomes, remain poorly educated, and die prematurely".

This wide range between "better" and "worse" scenarios shows a "precarious vision" of the future, the authors wrote in the study.

African countries continue to have the worst rates of premature death.

- Nigeria is expected to rank 123 (with a life expectancy of 74.8) from 157 place (current life expectancy of 65 years). Specifically, 87 countries will experience a decline, and 57 will see an increase of one year or more. Based on these different scenarios, there are three scenarios, a "most-likely" forecast, a "better-health" scenario and a "worse-health" scenario.

The study shows the biggest threats to these outcomes are non-communicable diseases, which are expected to be the major cause of death in East African people by 2040.

Also, instead of suicide and breast cancer, which are among the leading causes now, hypertensive heart disease and COPD will be among the top 10 causes in 2040. If things are going according to the modeled scenario then ischemic heart disease, stroke, a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and road accidents will be the main reasons which will cause early death in 2040.

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