If you want to live longer, you might want to consider moving to Kuwait, according to the findings of a life expectancy study.
Lifespan 2040 researchers said that people in Kuwait are expected to live to an average age of 81.4 years in 2040, the highest in the region.
According to the study, Kuwait’s life expectancy is set to rise from 79.4 in 2016, putting it 41st on the global list and ahead of Saudi Arabia despite the Gulf kingdom’s rise in the rankings.
Saudi Arabia is set to jump 18 places between 2016 and 2040 as its life expectancy is set to rise from 77 to 81.2 years.
In the UAE, which is poised to rise nine places from 77th to 68th in the same period, life expectancy will increase from 75.5 to 79.5 years.
Bahrain is set to fall three places from 64th to 67th as its life expectancy rises from 76.8 to 79.6 years while Oman is set to rise one place from 62nd to 61st with a life expectancy in 2040 of 79.9 compared to 76.9 in 2016.
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Globally, life expectancy in 2040 is set to rise at least a little in all nations, with Spain taking the top spot while China and the United States trade places.
With a projected average lifespan of nearly 85.8 years, Spain – formerly in 4th place – will dethrone Japan, which sits atop the rankings today with a lifespan of 83.7 years, and will drop to 2nd place in 2040.
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 US drops from 43rd to 64th (79.8 years), while China rises from 68th to 39th (81.9 years).
The researchers found other nations set to lose ground in the race towards longevity include Canada (from 17th to 27th), Norway (12th to 20th), Australia (5th to 10th), Mexico (69th to 87th), Taiwan (35th to 42nd) and North Korea 125th to 153rd).
Moving up the ranking are Indonesia (117th to 100th), Nigeria (157th to 123rd), Portugal (23rd to 5th), Poland (48th to 34th), Turkey (40th to 26th), Saudi Arabia (61st to 43rd).
Assuming its interminable and devastating war comes to an end, Syria is set to rise from 137th in 2016 to 80th in 2040.
For the world as a whole, the researchers’ study projected a five-year gain in lifespan, from 73.8 in 2016 to 77.7 in 2040.
“The future of the world’s health is not pre-ordained,” said lead author Kyle Foreman, head of data science at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.
“But whether we see signficant progress or stagnation depends on how well or poorly health systems address key health drivers.”
The top five “drivers”, or determinants, of average lifespans two decades from now are all related to so-called “lifestyle” diseases: high blood pressure, being overweight, high blood sugar, along with alcohol and tobacco use.
More generally, the world will see an acceleration of the shift already under way from communicable to non-communicable diseases, along with injuries, as the top cause of premature death.
Ranking a close sixth is air pollution, which scientists estimate claims a million lives a year in China alone.
The world’s poorest countries in 2018 will continue to fair poorly when it comes to life expectancy, according to the study, published in The Lancet.
With the exception of Afghanistan, the bottom 30 countries in 2040 – with projected lifespans between 57 and 69 years – are either in sub-Saharan Africa or small island states in the Pacific.
Lesotho, the Central African Republic, Zimbabwe, Somalia and Swaziland are in the basement of the rankings.
* With AFP
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