Life expectancy is the average lifespan of a person. Life expectancy is affected by many factors and it varies from place of the world to another. In the United States, people die earlier and spend more time on a wheelchair compared to people in other developed countries.
In the United States, factors affecting life expectancy include HIV, cancers due to tobacco, coronary heart disease, poor health of minority communities living in rural areas and violence. According to the World Health Organization, Japan has the longest life expectancy with an average of 74.5 years while Sierra Leone has the shortest life expectancy with an average of 26 years. These figures were calculated through a procedure known as Disability Adjusted Life Expectancy (DALE), which checks for the expected number of years a person lives with normal health rather than taking into account just the expected years a person lives. The DALE method was developed by the WHO.
Through the DALE method, it was found out that the babies who are born in 1999 in the United States would have an average life expectancy of 70 years; female babies could live longer than male babies as their life expectancy could be 72.6 years as opposed to male babies' life expectancy of 67.5 years.
On the whole the world's average life expectancy has increased to 67 years as opposed to 61 years just two decades ago. This is primarily because healthcare has improved in many countries and medical science has also advanced making it possible to treat diseases which could not be treated earlier. In addition, the other reason for increase in world' average life expectancy is consumption of nutritious food, better sanitation, access to safe drinking water, immunization programs and education.
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