Fueled by Improved Treatments: Canadian Life Expectancy Rises, 80 For Men, 84 For Women

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | May 16, 2014 1:21 PM EST

With improved treatments, life expectancy among Canadians has surged with males expected to reach 80 and females 84, based on a report released by the World Health Organization. Life expectancy worldwide generally improved, especially in low-income countries.

REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko
An elderly man takes part in a rally to commemorate International Workers' Day, or Labour Day, in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, May 1, 2014. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko

Based on the World Health Statistics 2014:

  • Average life expectancy for males born in 2012 in Canada, 80 and females, 84
  • Males born in Canada in 1990 could expect to live up to 74 and females until 81 on average
  • Life expectancy for both sexes in Canada increased on average from 77 in 1990 to 82 in 2012

"In high-income countries, much of the gain in life expectancy is due to success in tackling noncommunicable diseases," Ties Boerma, director of the Department of Health Statistics and Information Systems at the WHO, said.

"Richer countries have become better at monitoring and managing high blood pressure, for example."

Notable is the diminishing use of tobacco which has helped people live longer, WHO added. The report highlighted the progress in the life expectancy of people living in low-income countries, which had an average increase by nine years from 1990 to 2012.

Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO director general, has attributed the longevity of the life expectancy to fewer dying children before their fifth birthday. The division, however, between high-income countries and low-income countries still persists.

Life expectancy for both men and women is still less than 55 years in nine sub-Saharan African countries: Angola, Central African Republic, Chad, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Mozambique, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

The top three countries for life expectancy for men in 2012:

For women, the top countries were:

  • Japan, 87.0
  • Spain, 85.1
  • Switzerland, 85.1

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(Photo: REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko / )
An elderly man takes part in a rally to commemorate International Workers' Day, or Labour Day, in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, May 1, 2014. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko
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