The study focuses on the changes that have happened throughout the decades in life expectancy and the disparities that still exist.
Medical advancement has changed the game in every way possible for the present-day population. Things that seemed like a big deal even just a few decades ago, can now be handled with ease due to all the advancements at the behest of humans. One of the biggest transformations the human race has experienced because of scientific advancements is undoubtedly the extension of life expectancy. David Atlance and his colleagues conducted a study to analyze how longevity will shape the future of human race and whether the improvement will be uniform all across the globe. They also examined the disparities that existed between the two genders in this respect and how much improvement has happened over the years.
In order to analyze the phenomenon of longevity across different corners of the earth, the first step the researchers took was to find out more about the factors impacting this phenomenon. They wished to understand whether the reasons behind the increase in people's lifespans had some common ground, regardless of different areas. Thereafter, they wanted to examine whether those factors were becoming stronger all across the board or not. The analysis was done with the aid of a statistical model created based on the factors that impacted longevity. The data for the model was taken from the United Nations Populations Division records and population projections for 194 countries spanning from 1990 to 2030. All in all, nine mortality indicators were considered for the study which included life expectancy at birth and the Gini index (a measure of inequality in lifespan).
The researchers found that mortality indicators divided all the countries into five groups or clusters, from 1990 to 2010. The five groups had different ranges of life expectancy. There were times in those 10 years when countries swapped places in the group due to a change in conditions. This change was primarily attributed to incidents like war or unstable socioeconomic and political conditions. The one thing that held common ground in all the groups was that life expectancy increased. It was not just the first-world countries that were experiencing the boom; the increase occurred all across the world. The region that recorded the best performance with respect to longevity was Africa. In the conclusion, the authors wrote, "Among all convergence clubs, Africa is the region with the most significant improvements in mortality indicators. Even the best-performing (high-income) countries continue to grow, although these improvements slowed over time."
Moreover, the disparity between males and females in terms of longevity also decreased considerably. Despite the decrease, the researchers believe that a gap will always persist. They explained in the study that it is because of the presence of Y-chromosomes. They elucidated, "Males lose this chromosome during their aging process while females keep it, allowing us to explain why these differences will continue to remain in the future, according to our projections."
The statistical model was again applied to predict longevity in 2030 and the outcome remained positive. Despite the results of the model, the researchers accept that several uncertain factors, like disease or war, can impact the potential of longevity, which is not possible for the model to consider at present. The researchers hope for more analysis in this area. “As a future line of research, it would be particularly interesting to review our mortality estimates and cluster configurations in 2030, when we will have reliable data. This future analysis would allow us to assess the degree of accuracy of our 2023 estimates,” the authors write in their findings.