We’re Now Living 6 Years Longer

life expectancy has increased by six years in a generation research has shown.

Global life expectancy at birth rose by 5.8 years for men and 6.6  for women between 1990 and 2013.

But UK women saw only a 4.4-year increase from 78.4 to 82.8  years. In high-income  regions, life expectancy had mostly been increased by falling cancer  and heart disease death rates, said the report.

There have also been dramatic increases in life expectancy in some low-income countries, experts found. In Nepal, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Niger, the Maldives, Timor-Leste and Iran, life expectancy increased by more than 12 years in the last two decades

Southern Africa was the only region experiencing the opposite trend, due to the scourge of HIV and AIDS. Their  lifespans have shortened by more than five years.

Certain causes of death were shown to have increased  around the world since 1990. They included liver cancer, drug use conditions, chronic kidney disease, sickle cell disease, diabetes and pancreatic cancer, the study in The Lancet medical journal found.

Demanding Jobs = Quick Wits

Workers with demanding jobs dealing with people or complex data are more likely to stay mentally sharp, scientists claim.

Better memories and thinking ability belong to those in close contact with others such as social workers and lawyers or architects and graphic designers who work with drawings and data.

A team at Edinburgh University found jobs involving teaching or management skills led to better brain function scores at the age of 70.

People were tested for memory, mental and processing speed and general thinking ability.

They judged how a person’s occupation had an impact on the results.

Co-author of the study Dr Alan Gow said: “These results suggest that more stimulating work environments may help people retain their thinking skills.”

Dr Simon Ridley of Alzheimer’s Research UK said: “Keeping the brain active throughout life could be helpful and different types of work may play a role.”

The study is published in the Journal of Neurology.

Daily Express 20th November 2014. p. 18.