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Increasing life expectancy

Life expectancy is set to increase in years to come across the globe, according to today's standards, as noted in a recent study published in the prestigious scientific magazine, Lancet by world health professor Majid Ezzati.

The largest increase in life expectancy will be in South Korea, while the smallest increase will be in the USA. In previous centuries, life expectancy increased due to lower child mortality rates. However, for the first time, global life expectancy is now more closely due to longer survival of the aging population.

According to Professor Ezzati, the criteria that increase life expectancy of a population are four. However, not all four were achieved in all the countries that were studied. These are:
1. Social equality. Social inequalities are damaging to health, something that is very common in the USA and can be seen in people of all ages. 
2. Access to health services and their quality. In South Korea, people have very good access to health services and there is rapid development in knowledge and technology in the health sector. New technologies for early diagnosis and prevention of diseases are one of the most powerful tools for a country to increase its life expectancy. 
3. Adequate care and sufficient nutrition during the first few years of life. 
4. Control of risk factors for modern-day morbidity: smoking, being overweight, etc.

At the turn of the century, many scientists believed that people's life expectancy could not reach 90 years. It seems, though, that women in South Korea will exceed the threshold of 90 and this age will certainly not be considered a biological limit. Large rises in life expectancy are also seen in south and central Europe. In the english-speaking world, Australia and Canada are doing better than the USA in this field. Of course, achieving these criteria for improving living standards in each country is a subject of social values and political decisions.

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