Life Expectancy Essay

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1. ANALYSE WHY LIFE EXPECTANCY HAS INCREASED OVER THE LAST CENTURY Life expectancy in the human race has risen dramatically in the past century (Harris, 2009) reaching its highest level for both males and females on record (Office for National Statistics (ONS), 2006). Japan currently has the longest surviving individual with a life span averaging 84 years for both men and women (World Health Organisation (WHO), 2006). According to Rooney et al (2004) the term life expectancy is defined as ‘’the number of years that somebody can expect to live, according to statistics (p. 1084). Over the last 100 years, the expectancy of life has increased and the overall goal is to live a long and healthy life. Some social scientists have predicted that the western population have a possible life span within the range of 85-100years. Others have suggested that with medical advances humans can be expected to live beyond these ages. The longest-lived human on record was 122 years 5 months and 14 days (Whitney; 1997). Over the last century, there has been a decline in premature deaths throughout developed countries (Alder et al, 2009). Life expectancy has grown in the United Kingdom from 45 for females and 49 for males In 1901 and in more recent times to 75 years for male and 80 years for female in 1999 (Hicks and Ellen;1999). Not everywhere is experiencing longevity of life the average life expectancy in Zimbabwe is 35.5 (Stibich, 2009).The ONS (2009) have suggested that males and females in the UK could expect to live to 77.44 and 81.65 years respectively. The same report also highlighted the gap between the genders after surviving to 65 years. This is illustrated in the diagram below. Increases in longevity have been accompanied by substantial changes in the main causes of death (Robine et al, 2007). A major cause in the increase in life expectancy is the decline in
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