Australian Men Rank Third in World's Longest Life Expectancy Report, Kiwi Men in 6th

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By Reissa Su | May 16, 2014 6:57 PM EST

Australian men have the third longest life expectancy in the world based on new statistics from the World Health Organisation (WHO). The country's male population has been found to live longer than men in most countries at up to an average of 80.5 years.

Australian women ranked sixth in the world in the same report, with the females outliving the males at an average age of 84.6 years. According to WHO, life expectancy has increased on a global scale. A female born in 2012 can live up to 73 years compared to a boy with 68 years.

WHO has associated the increase in life expectancy to success in finding cures to noncommunicable diseases and a decline in the number of smokers.

New Zealand men ranked sixth overall with a life expectancy of 80.2 years.

Countries with low incomes were observed to have the greatest increases with average life expectancy, increasing by 9 years between 1990 and 2012. According to WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan, fewer children were dying before turning 5 years of age.

Iceland's male population have the highest life expectancy in the world at 81.2 years. Japanese women topped the list in the female category with a life expectancy of 87 years.

"Silent killers" may affect life expectancy

Over one million Australians with the average age of 45 are prone to high blood pressure and high cholesterol. The National Heart Foundation survey has found that the two risk factors for a heart attack have the lowest rate for Aussies living in New South Wales and Queensland.

However, based on the foundation's analysis, more than half of the population is still exposed to one of the risk factors for a heart attack. In a survey based on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Victoria and Tasmania had the worst rates for high blood pressure and cholesterol in the whole of Australia.

National Heart Foundation Director of Cardiovascular Health Dr Robert Grenfell said the numbers showed that more than one million Australians were at risk of stroke and heart attack. Dr Grenfell explained that the more risk factors a person will have, the higher the chances of experiencing a stroke or heart attack.

He said other risk factors like obesity, lack of exercise, poor diet, smoking and diabetes can also increase the risk. Dr Grenfell described high blood pressure and high cholesterol as "silent killers" since they had no noticeable symptoms. He advised people to have their cholesterol levels and blood pressure checked regularly.

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