People living in tropical regions are likely to die seven years sooner than those living in other parts of the world, according to a new study. The reasons include disease, conflict, food security and poverty, as well as a lack of access to water, medical attention, and proper sanitation.
The 2010 study, “State of the Tropics,” compiled data collected from 13 institutions in 12 different countries and found the average life expectancy for tropical dwellers to be 64.4 years, compared with non-tropical counterparts who live 72.1 years. Central and Southern Africa had the lowest life expectancies in the study, with 377 out of every 1,000 Africans who reach age 15 dying before they reach 60.
Despite the disparity in life expectancy, the report shows that over the past six decades, life spans have increased by 22.8 years in tropical regions. The report attributed the longer life spans to an increase in economic growth and household income as well as public investment in social services, education and health in tropical areas. Additionally, infant mortality rates in tropical regions have decreased by 14.7 percent since 1950.
According to the study, 144 territories or nations are either “fully of partly in the tropical region,” with only Europe and Antarctica not having a tropical region.
A recent United Nation study found that the African country of Sierra Leone has one of the lowest life expectancies, with the average woman living 49 years and average man living 48 years. In comparison, Japan has consistently had one of the highest rates, with men on average living 80 years and women living 87 years.
In the same study, the United States rounds out the top 20 nations with women living on average to 81 years of age, and men to 78 years of age.
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