Global life expectancy has risen by more than 6 years shows Lancet study

Image - Global life expectancy has risen by more than 6 years shows Lancet study
Date Published:
28 Aug 2015
Contact person:
Alexandra Pitzing

Global life expectancy has risen by more than six years since 1990 according to a new analysis of all major diseases and injuries in 188 countries co-authored by NDARC’s Professor Louisa Degenhardt, which was published in The Lancet this week.

The paper "Global, regional, and national disability-adjusted life years for 306 diseases and injuries and healthy life expectancy for 188 countries, 1990-2013: quantifying the epidemiological transition" published this week presents new findings from the Global Burden of Disease study, a major international collaboration led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.

Worldwide life expectancy at birth rose by 6.2 years from 1990 to 2013 (from 65.3 in 1990 to 71.5 in 2013), while healthy life expectancy rose by 5.4 years (from 56.9 in 1990 to 62.3 in 2013).

In Australia, life expectancy went up by 5 years, from 77 years in 1990 to 82 years in 2013, and healthy life expectancy increased by 3.5 years (66 in 1990 compared to 69.5 in 2013).

Professor Degenhardt, who co-authored the paper, said the smaller increase in healthy life expectancy indicates a growing number of years lived with illness and disability.

“As the population grows and people get older, we spend more time living with a range of ailments including heart disease and back pain,” she said. “Therefore, progress in health does not mean fewer demands on health systems.”

By 2013, the five leading causes of disease burden were ischaemic heart disease, lower respiratory infections, cerebrovascular disease, low back and neck pain, and road injuries.

To read the full paper, visit: