A new forecast says people in Spain will have the longest life expectancy in the world, beating the Japanese, by 2040.
The study of the global burden of disease by Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle, US, attributes this particularly to better eating habits of the Spanish.
The Global Burden of Disease study published online by the IHME and in the Lancet medical journal has pointed to obesity, high blood pressure and blood sugar, tobacco, and drinking alcohol and air pollution as the biggest threats for human health.
People in Spain is to have an average lifespan of 85.8 years, a rise from 82.9 years in 2016. Japan, ranked first in 2016 , with an average lifespan 83.7 years, will drop to second place in 2040, with 85.7 years.
The study has projected a significant increase in deaths from non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic kidney disease, and lung cancer, as well as worsening health outcomes linked to obesity across the globe.
“The future of the world’s health is not pre-ordained, and there is a wide range of plausible trajectories,” said Dr Kyle Foreman, Director of Data Science at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, and lead author on the study.
“But whether we see significant progress or stagnation depends on how well or poorly health systems address key health drivers.”