Healthier lifestyles, higher incomes lead to longer lives in OECD nations

Healthier lifestyles and higher incomes have helped increase life expectancy in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations by 10 years in the past half century, according to a report published last Friday.

The OECD's Health at a Glance 2017 report said the average life expectancy throughout the group of countries - which includes the US, Canada, Australia and Japan - now stands at 80.6 years, an increase of more than 10 years since 1970.

"Healthier lifestyles, higher incomes and better education have all contributed to boost life expectancy in recent decades," the report said.

The longest-living are the Japanese and Swedish at 83.9 years.

However, while factors such as a decline in smoking rates have helped achieve the figures, "there has been little success in tackling obesity and harmful alcohol use, and air pollution is often neglected". If the rates of smoking and consumption were halved, life expectancies would rise by another 13 months, the research found. - AFP