Research finds growth in life expectancy in Australia slowing

The rate of life expectancy growth in Australia is now falling behind high-income nations.

Australian life expectancy shock

After 20 years of rapid increases in life expectancy at birth, the rate of growth in Australia is now falling behind most other high-income nations, research shows.

Researchers say this means better control of health risk factors such as obesity will be needed, if further life expectancy increases are to be achieved.

Researchers from the University of Melbourne School of Population and Global Health have analysed data for Australia and 26 other high-income countries from 1980-2016.

Researchers found that from 1981 to 2003, life expectancy at birth increased rapidly in Australia, both in absolute terms, and in comparison, with other high-income countries.

For males, the difference in life expectancy between Australia and the other 26 countries increased from +0.7 years to +2.3 years over this period. For females, the difference in life expectancy increased from +0.9 years to +1.3 years.

The University of Melbourne’s Professor Alan Lopez said the main contributor to greater increases in life expectancy for males in Australia than in western Europe was lower mortality from heart disease.

“Compared with the United States, mortality from heart disease, stroke, and transport-related injuries was lower,” Prof. Lopez said.

Since 2003, researchers found life expectancy has increased more slowly for both sexes than in most other high-income countries, mainly because declines in mortality from cardiovascular disease and cancer have slowed. For males, it was +2.3 years in 2015, and females, +1.1 years.

“Together with the high prevalence of obesity, this suggests that future life expectancy increases will be smaller than in other high-income countries,” Prof. Lopez said.

University of Melbourne researcher and co-author Dr Tim Adair said this slowing should concern public health policy makers.

“Life expectancy in Australia is among the highest in the world, a testament to our boldly progressive public health interventions over several decades,” Dr Adair said.

“However, there are several major barriers to marked increases, including the notably higher mortality of more recent birth cohorts and the comparative failure of efforts to reduce levels of overweight and obesity.

“Other high-income countries have greater scope for reducing the prevalence of smoking. As a result, our high global ranking with regard to life expectancy at birth is unlikely to be maintained unless new strategies for reducing mortality associated with specific behaviours are developed and deployed effectively.”

What do you think Australia should do to address its growing obesity problem?

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    COMMENTS

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    TREBOR
    23rd May 2019
    11:00am
    We're falling behind other developed nations because the top dogs keep up as much stress on older people as possible by constantly shifting the goal posts at a time in their life when they just want simple day-to-day certainties, even promoting Age War between the old and the young.... in the ancient divide-and-conquer manner....
    KSS
    23rd May 2019
    12:25pm
    Trebor this makes absolutely no sense. People are rersponsible for what they put in their body whether that is poor food choices, smoke, ilicit drugs, soft drinks or anything else.

    You cannot blame anyone, including some nameless 'top dog,' except the individual and the choices they make.
    Anonymous
    23rd May 2019
    12:42pm
    TREBOR is talking about older people working longer hours, I think.
    jackie
    23rd May 2019
    1:54pm
    TREBOR, I have noticed most elderly Australians are lazy to cook and prepare their own meals from scratch and the same goes for families. They all love the convenience of processed foods, take outs and meals on wheels. All that food is full of sugars and bad fats which they are addicted to. They drive everywhere to sit on their backsides. No wonder they are overweight.
    jackie
    23rd May 2019
    1:57pm
    Knows-a-lot, older people working long hours can use slow cookers and prepare quick salad meals instead of rubbish.
    TREBOR
    23rd May 2019
    2:02pm
    Hmm - I'm 70 next month and always had my own gardens and such - go for the fat-free diet etc... and rarely eat out.

    Obesity is a problem with many, and the accompanying lack of exercise as people age and are less mobile doesn't help.

    KSS (chucks his cheek) it's pretty simple - people simply want steady certainties - not the endless argie-bargie of political pushing and shoving about 'their' problems handling OUR budget... mutterings dark from pollies and their henchmen about 'the cost of pensions', the 'cost of old bastards owning all the property', 'the cost of paying fair super' and not ripping them off', the 'cost' of having to repay them when the financial institutions rip them off, 'the cost of aged health care'... and so on.

    Time to pay the pipers! And time to pay the rent to those who built this nation for their enjoyment.

    If the kitchen is too hot - they are always welcome to not stand in the first place, and if they think their 'work' deserves their $2.5m average a year each plus a magnificent and unmatched 'superannuation' scheme (read outright theft from the public coffers) - and they are not prepared to face cuts to make ends meet - pull their belts in - they can all leave.

    Hot hard, eh?
    Jenny
    23rd May 2019
    11:14am
    Legislation to limit available junk food would be a start. Education re diet isn't working, obviously. And why on earth should we strive to live longer? Population growth is causing enough problems already. Greed and selfishness are destroying our civilisations. I imagine this post will create backlash, but it's just common sense.
    MJM
    23rd May 2019
    11:25am
    I agree with your post. Hate to say it but maybe we need a war or disease out break to cull the population. Spot on about greed. It’s out biggest issue. The younger gens are going to be too busy with heads in phones to care about even watching the sun come up. Every generation says “it was better in my day” what does that tell you???
    TREBOR
    23rd May 2019
    11:59am
    Very much on the cards, MJM - we of the West need to be on the lookout for a Fifth Column (apart from the Canberra Fifth column dedicated to selling out the nation)...

    I posted a homework assignment for the troops on another forum, dealing with group psyche developed by Japan following the Western intrusion, and the resultant confusion between hatred and hostility and admiration bordering on adoration for the ability of the west, along with an underlying sneaking suspicion that Western Man might just be the superior being he behaved as without thinking. An absolute love-hate relationship and a melange of Freudian emotional mix...

    The idea was to look at various 'invaded' (topical word today for Oz) cultures and their response to long-term domination by and development through 'being part of the west' - even a junior partner.

    In Japan pre-WW II Japan it lead to the devotion required from young men to crash planes into ships ... and there are countless comparisons with modern times...... across the world... e.g. Indigenous, Muslims, Middle Easterners, Asians.. you name it... junior partners who've prospered mightily under the tutelage of the West, and hate the West for it.
    TREBOR
    23rd May 2019
    12:00pm
    Sorry - welcome to around the world with Trebor....
    KSS
    23rd May 2019
    12:49pm
    Except that 'invasion' these days does not mean boots on the ground.

    The advent of first print media, then radio, then film, then TV and now the internet, add in tourism and ease of travel and the influence of one country on another including the lifestyle, (including food), is easily beamed into and adopted by even remote cultures round the world. Consider that Coca Cola is the most recognisable brand and product consumed by even the most remote and poverty stricken.
    jackie
    23rd May 2019
    2:02pm
    Jenny, that will never happen because that food is run by corporations. They donate to governing bodies and sports institutions and have to please their shareholders that demand top dollar for their shares.
    TREBOR
    23rd May 2019
    2:09pm
    True KSS - thus the mention of Fifth Columns galore....many of which are the equivalent of clutching the viper to our own breast... what appalls me is that our own government is just such a fifth column .... selling the nation out at every turn.

    I've long discussed the 'cultural colonialism'* of inviting the 'developing world' to capitalism with all its benefits for the top dogs, and the consequent bloodless victory in bringing the likes of China into the capitalist camp boots and all... Silver Bullets won the day - not lead ones...

    *not the exact term but my memory slips at times... close enough...
    TREBOR
    23rd May 2019
    2:10pm
    Anyway - here's the homework I posted:-

    Mid-Term assignment, due 18th June. 10% of total final mark (we mark hard at (censored) - the REAL U).

    Read the following excerpt from -

    Blossoms In the Wind - Human Legacies of the Kamikaze , M.G Sheftall.


    a. Determine and explain the underlying factors in generation of a group psyche as described in the excerpt.

    b. Seek similar group psyches occurring today, discover their root causes, expound on those in comparison with that shown by Sheftall as pertaining to pre-WW II Japanese society.

    c. Consider the effect of the same values ascribed to the West by such 'new' groups in the development and continuation of such group psyches - define the group(s) you are considering.

    d. Is the West, therefore, condemned to fight an endless series of wars, due to the group psyches developed as described.....and if so .. what is the level of preparedness, both physically and spiritually, of the West?

    "Educated Japanese males of Onishi's generation who had spent their time living and studying in the West - especially America - tended to harbour extreme feelings at both ends of a love-hate continuum toward their former hosts and teachers, ranging from unabashed schoolboy hero worship to utter repulsion fueled by a desperate need to believe in their own racial and cultural superiority. The emotional packages of most comprised a tortuous Freudian melange of admiration and inferiority complex: a healthy respect for the Westerner's technological prowess, material abundance and sheer physical size; disdain for their shameless materialism, their smug, easy pride, their maddeningly nonchalant tolerance of disorder, their racist immigrant legislation and the woeful history of the American Negro. Not to mention the poisonous, half-buried memories of patronising cocktail party slights ("Oh, your English is excellent. Were you taught by missionaries?"), sneering hotel clerks, withering locker room anxiety, and the impotent rage of coming home to see giggling Japanese girls on the arms of strapping white men in the streets of the larger port cities. Just as everyone tapping pointers on maps in the war rooms of Tokyo and cutting orders for young men to die at the front carried his own personal portfolio of similar psychological baggage regarding Westerners, none of them ever really expected the nation to win its duel to the death with the West - win, that is, in the sense of Japanese troops marching down Pennsylvania Avenue and pitching their tents on the White House lawn. Nor did they see the war as being pursued primarily for the practical strategic objectives of securing vital industrial resources and fuel. Seeing it in such simple terms was to confuse means with ends.

    The goal, really, had always been, first and foremost, to humble the West - to daub the teacher's face with mud - by kicking the white man out of Asia and bringing about an end, once and for all, win or lose, of what former Prime Minister Konoe had so aptly termed Ango-Saxon global hegemony. The Caucasian bogeyman - and the unspeakable fear that he might really be the superior being he seemed to think himself - had whispered in the ear and haunted the nightmares of the Japanese psyche for the last ninety years, since Commodore Matthew C Perry's Black Ships first fouled the waters of Uraga Bay, humiliating the nation by forcing it to accommodate to Americans and their insulting demands."


    You are welcome to post an assignment.....
    TREBOR
    23rd May 2019
    2:12pm
    Also consider in the light of the fifth columns I've mentioned - though that is not a full list.
    MJM
    23rd May 2019
    11:20am
    Obesity will be the no. 1 killer. We used to be known as a nation of “bronzed aussies” until American crap food arrived here. With the culmination of kids staying indoors on their bums parents too “busy” to prepare decent food It didn’t take long for this country to turn into a bunch of fatties. Alternately there are people myself included who still keep active and eat well. Our bodies are temples not the Golden Arches hang out. Honestly I can’t see it getting better. Eventually 60 will be the new 80 for a lot of people saying goodbye to this earth.
    TREBOR
    23rd May 2019
    12:02pm
    My son grew up a fattie and now is 33, tall, strong as an ox, and fit as - runs every day and does a lot of physical work - he's preparing for the call to arms predicted by his dad... and he has his eye on a slot in the regiment...
    jackie
    23rd May 2019
    2:00pm
    All my families ly are lean because they are cooked meals and have always been active every day.
    VicCherikoff
    23rd May 2019
    11:31am
    Australia needs to reduce its population and so we have Big Farma producing rubbish 'food' which tends to be sweet, watery, low fibre and deplete of essential micronutrients.

    Then Big Pharma takes over with their meme of "A patient cured is a customer lost."

    We have a food industry that does nothing about health and a health industry that has no interest in food.

    And lifespan increases are all good but what is our healthspan?

    There is little to be gained in surviving a heart attack from believing the dairy industry and taking in too much calcium which clogs arteries, stiffens blood vessels and calcifies tissues. Survival means stents, drugs and medical 'advice' from fat, unhealthy doctors who might have attended 4-6 weeks of lectures on nutrition in 15 years of training to prescribe drugs. Most of their nutritional advice comes from women's magazines or 'science' on how food extracts can work like drugs. Seriously?

    Luckily there is a solution and this is based on the wild foods of the world's longest living culture. It is called LIFE (Lyophilized Indigenous Food Essentials)™ and it appears that wild foods protected us against the diseases of nutrition in bygone years. Even the Mediterranean diet, which is misrepresented in the press, relied on between 100 and 300 wild foods depending on location. I am happy to share more if there's interest.
    jackie
    23rd May 2019
    2:07pm
    VicCherikoff, The health industry does not care about food because it works with big pharma. A sick population needs drugs.

    Everything is run by corporations that don’t care about the welfare of people just profits.

    The food that’s served in hospitals and nursing homes is not fit for a dog.
    jackie
    23rd May 2019
    2:14pm
    Flus and various diseases from the past are on the rise again due to poverty. They will wipe out populations. People need to stop breeding slaves so that they can start to value one another.
    Rosret
    23rd May 2019
    11:56am
    Our generation have just observed what "staying alive" means. There is no way I want to be allowed to suffer in my later years. So that basically means I have to chose when to stop medical intervention.
    Living forever is not that exciting when we still age as normal.
    TREBOR
    23rd May 2019
    12:04pm
    I'm considering becoming a Nosferatu in order to live forever.....
    jackie
    23rd May 2019
    2:11pm
    Rosret, only the rich will be living longer. The poor will be their slaves, body parts and for experimental use. The majority quint have a long life. The system has set it up as such because they will cost money..
    Diogenes
    23rd May 2019
    2:16pm
    I am reminded Rosret that Barbara Bush stopped all medical interventions at her advanced age and died (probably quite happily) 2 days later, her husband George did the same thing a couple of years later.
    jackie
    23rd May 2019
    4:38pm
    Rosret, it would be hell to get into a nursing home where you would be drugged, bashed, fed shit and abused.

    I will invest in a gun.
    Rosret
    23rd May 2019
    10:03pm
    Heavy Jackie ...very heavy.

    23rd May 2019
    12:28pm
    I suppose that the old fashioned meat and three veggies on which we were raised is now passé although this diet was accompanied with bicycle riding, walking and sports. Schools had a sports and PE curriculum which in a lot of cases has gone by the board. Obesity is the result of diet and a lack of exercise and this is what needs to be addressed.

    Stopping fast food outlets from advertising is not the answer, stopping people from eating too much fast food is what is needed. When we grew up there were fish and chip shops which, if that was all we ate, could have caused an obesity problem. The answer is moderation in those foods that are considered unhealthy. They are not considered poisonous, just unhealthy, so having fast food now and then is not wrong.

    There are those who want a sugar tax as we are consuming too much sugar. What Australia doesn't need right at this moment is another tax. I used to have a t-shirt with the words "What part of NO don't you understand?" and I believe that this is the answer to the obesity problem. There are other factors that I am too cowardly to raise which are to do with parenting.
    KSS
    23rd May 2019
    12:55pm
    It is not only the type of food that has changed but also portion size. A muffin for example in days of old was small, weighing in at less than 100g. Today that muffin is closer to 400g+ and we still eat it all as a single serve snack when the caloire count can be more than a complete meal.
    jackie
    23rd May 2019
    4:11pm
    Old Man, most people have sedentary jobs, drive everywhere or sit on their backsides on public transport to go and sit at their destination again. Junk food is available everywhere. People can’t go anywhere without eating.

    They gorge their everywhere demanding instant gratification on their fat, sugar and salt meals to satisfy their addiction.

    I have noticed this getting worse over the past forty years. Many dress like slobs baring their arse cracks and dropping stomachs. They all love the shopping malls. Even the migrants that come here get fat. They call it a sign of wealth. It must be because that rubbish is not cheap.
    Viking
    23rd May 2019
    5:43pm
    Surely for the vast majority of people its pretty damned simple; the energy you feed in in excess of what you expend becomes surplus fat so if that's what you've got then stop stuffing your face! Charge parents with child abuse if their kids are fat, that's where it starts. We are all contributing towards the tens of $billions annually this is costing us all so why not a bit of personal responsibility, that's what being an adult is all about..
    jackie
    23rd May 2019
    7:33pm
    Viking, parents are too exhausted from junk food, work and long travel hours to pay the mortgage. The children may charge them for abuse too.
    Viking
    23rd May 2019
    9:11pm
    Simple then Jackie, dont eat junk food its easy to eat healthily, keep some quality mince in the freezer, an onion, tomatoes mushrooms and chick peas on whole rice with vegetables, make enough for three days, put spice in the second day and curry the third. Its quicker and cheaper than a drive to get junk food. Ban pop from the fridge and icecream from the freezer, fill it will frozen peas and beans, cook with fresh carrots, easy. If its too much hard work lose some weight to move faster. If parents got off their iPhones, made their kids ride bikes, walk or use the bus they would have more time and the kids less weight and build a bit of resilience. They might even start to learn how to navigate the world and stay off drugs.

    23rd May 2019
    12:41pm
    This is because of greed (stress caused by chasing the Almighty $$$) and the LNP vermin underfunding the health system.
    KSS
    23rd May 2019
    12:55pm
    Zzzzzzz........
    jackie
    23rd May 2019
    4:16pm
    Knows-a-lot, self inflicted diseases don’t deserve pity. It’s like drug addiction and alcoholism. Scientists worn people about the effects but they simply choose to ignore it. Some people don’t want to get old.
    KB
    23rd May 2019
    1:37pm
    Compared to previous generations we are surrounded by junk and convenience meals For ne I grew up with fresh fruits and vegetables grown at home. Obesity can be also genetic. People no matter how hard you push the message at them will make their own choices healthy or not.If you are a care looking after children then it is the responsibility of the carer to t ensure that children play outside or take then for walks to get exercise which is beneficial for young and old
    jackie
    23rd May 2019
    4:21pm
    KB, fatness is not genetic. Babies aren’t born fat. It’s lifestyle related.

    I remember the only fat kids were overfed kids. I remember one mother coming to school at lunch time to force feed her little Johnny on all sorts of carbs instead of letting him play. He was fat.
    KB
    23rd May 2019
    1:37pm
    Compared to previous generations we are surrounded by junk and convenience meals For ne I grew up with fresh fruits and vegetables grown at home. Obesity can be also genetic. People no matter how hard you push the message at them will make their own choices healthy or not.If you are a care looking after children then it is the responsibility of the carer to t ensure that children play outside or take then for walks to get exercise which is beneficial for young and old

    23rd May 2019
    1:44pm
    I expect the disappointment of yet another labor loss will drive a lot of their supporters to an early grave

    I wouldn't take these surverys seriously. Swings and roundabouts
    . Eat healthy, be happy, and vote LNP. Guaranteed to extend your life
    jackie
    23rd May 2019
    4:27pm
    Maureen, most of those Labor supporters are active demonstrating across the country on vegan diets. They will live long because they have to save the planet for the future.

    23rd May 2019
    1:44pm
    I expect the disappointment of yet another labor loss will drive a lot of their supporters to an early grave

    I wouldn't take these surverys seriously. Swings and roundabouts
    . Eat healthy, be happy, and vote LNP. Guaranteed to extend your life
    roy
    23rd May 2019
    5:49pm
    Where's MICK, I am really getting quite worried?
    TREBOR
    23rd May 2019
    7:31pm
    Probably on another ski-ing holiday... half his luck...
    Mondo
    23rd May 2019
    3:56pm
    If obesity is the life threatening and high cost problem to our health system then having a Prime Minister that sets and example to the people would be a good start. Some legislation on decent food labelling might help too. It might be the 'fat cat' image but if LNP voters follow his example they may not be guaranteed an extended life at all.
    jackie
    23rd May 2019
    4:31pm
    Mondo, these corporations are all about profits for their shareholders. The only way to take action is for the shareholders to complain. They won’t because they are only interested in making money too.
    TREBOR
    23rd May 2019
    7:48pm
    How do you take on a a company? They have no knee to kick and no nose to punch....

    That is precisely why they need to be under proper control...
    leek
    23rd May 2019
    5:19pm
    The number of people living in poverty is increasing. These people have access to public health, but waiting lists are sending people to an early grave. So not surprised to see that our age life is declining. It goes hand in hand with the increase of people living in poverty, which is also tied to the housing crisis and lower unemeployment opportunites, which then ties back into the lowly Newstart payments.
    jackie
    23rd May 2019
    7:40pm
    leek, I feel sorry for those that can’t get work. If there were jobs about the country would be in a better state than what it currently is in. It’s a pity our Government relies on handouts and is too lazy to work.
    Anonymous
    23rd May 2019
    7:42pm
    5% unemployment rate - that’s basically full employment
    What on earth are you 2 on about
    More handouts to dole bludgers ?
    Charlie
    23rd May 2019
    9:23pm
    Life expectancy is not a good indicator of overall health.

    We simply have better means of prolonging the life of people who have become disabled and unwell from age related illnesses.

    Old age might look alright, but a lot of the time it doesn't feel alright. It depends on the person and what unseen medical conditions they are dragging around.
    Viking
    24th May 2019
    9:00am
    Well said Charlie. Would we say we have a healthy auto industry because we have more old cars on the road than others? On this basis Cuba is thriving!
    Jenny
    24th May 2019
    10:09am
    You are so right Charlie. Life at any cost does not equate to good life.
    80 plus
    24th May 2019
    8:53am
    Of course the sooner we die the more the government save on health care, pensions etc, not murder but death by neglect
    Pisces
    27th May 2019
    10:04am
    Totally agree we "the ageing" population are considered to be the wealthy boomers - sorry that isn't me just wish it was. Still working (self employed because i'm too old for paid employment) cooking healthy food and trying to be positive but well and truly over this age divide rubbish. I'll soldier on as I have always done and hope for the best. Certainly feels like nobody else gives a damn about us. Love your photo by the way
    Pisces
    27th May 2019
    10:04am
    Totally agree we "the ageing" population are considered to be the wealthy boomers - sorry that isn't me just wish it was. Still working (self employed because i'm too old for paid employment) cooking healthy food and trying to be positive but well and truly over this age divide rubbish. I'll soldier on as I have always done and hope for the best. Certainly feels like nobody else gives a damn about us. Love your photo by the way


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