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Life Expectancy - Essay Example

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The generally accepted definition of life expectancy at birth is the “average number of years” a newborn is expected to live if he or she were to survive life, which is subject to “age-specific mortality rates” of a particular period (United Nations, 2000, p. 45). The…
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Life Expectancy
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Download file to see previous pages Statistics reveal that life expectancy at birth, presently, has increased so much that on an average, it “exceeds 79 years” across the OECD, with a “nine year gap” between Japan and Turkey, the countries with highest and lowest life expectancy respectively (OECD, 2011, p. 78). This difference in the level of increase in life expectancy in developed and developing countries is a result of the varied factors and conditions present in both categories of countries. However, extensive studies that have been conducted over the past several years have identified that medical innovation, with respect to advancements in medicines and treatment, is the main reason behind increase in life expectancy in both developed and developing countries.
Contrary to popular notion that growth in income level or income inequality affects life expectancy, OECD social indicators have evidenced that between the “mid-80s and mid-2000s,” there is “no relationship” between increasing life expectancy and income growth or between “rising” life expectancy and income inequality changes (OECD, 2011, p. 79). Furthermore, lower “infant mortality rates” and the fact of older people being able to live “longer” have characterized the increase in life expectancy, and this has been possible only due to the various medical innovations that took place over the past decades. Thus, this underlines the fact that medical innovation is directly responsible for the increase in life expectancy not only by decreasing infant mortality rates, but also by prolonging life of aged people. For instance, death rates arising from “coronary heart diseases” in the US have declined by “three-fourths” since the 1960s, cancer survival rate has increased from “49%” to “67%” and deaths from HIV/AIDS have decreased by an astounding “80%” (Lilly USA, LLC, 2012, p. 2). However, in order to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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