Life expectancy in the United States increased by 9.7 years in the 1950s. The low life expectancy countries across the world also showed life expectancy gains in the 1950s. Today, according to Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, these gains have shown a steep decline in the 2000s. When dealing with life expectancy there is a natural ceiling based on biological cognitive, emotional and physical limitations. However, the lifespan in low life expectancy countries can be as low as 51, on average. There is room to expand human life past 51 in these low life expectancy countries and yet the gains are slowing.
One reason for the slow is HIV and AIDs. In Botswana, Africa, one third of the population is infected by HIV and AIDs. Life expectancy in Botswana is 53. While HIV/AIDs has increased deaths and decreased life expectancy in many countries, it does not completely explain the decline in life expectancy growth. In Guinea, in addition to HIV/AIDs, there is widespread death due to Ebola and Malaria.
There are various factors that affect life expectancy, including diet and public health availability. In West Africa, Niger, there is a severe deficiency in the food supply. Nutritious food is not widely available. In addition to the lack of food, there is also a lack of birth control. There is an overpopulation and a high infant death mortality rate.
The John Hopkins report concludes that the decline in life expectancy growth is due to low or no governance in the low life expectancy countries. Political and social consensus towards health care would be a step towards a solution. In order to see life expectancy climb again, like what we experienced in the 1950s, more countries would have to work together towards political and social consensus towards healthcare improvement.
“Life expectancy gains are slowing in both rich and poor countries.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 January 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180129104914.htm>.