People’s Life Expectancy Increased between 1990 and 2013

March 3, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. life expectancy /ˈlīf ik-ˈspek-tən(t)-sē/ (n.) – estimated lifetime of a group of persons or animals
Example: The life expectancy of the country’s citizens increased by 10 years.

2. attribute /ə-ˈtri-ˌbyüt/ (v.) – to relate something as a cause or reason
Example: The decrease in death rate was attributed to the increased budget on hospitals.

3. cardiovascular /ˈkär-dē-ōˈvas-kyə-lər/ (adj.) – relating to the heart, veins, and arteries in the body
Example: His doctor recommended that he do cardiovascular exercises.

4. communicable /kə-ˈmyü-ni-kə-bəl/ (adj.) – easily transferred to another person
ExampleCommunicable diseases like AIDS and tuberculosis are widespread nowadays.

5. healthcare /ˈhelth ˈker/ (adj.) – relating to actions and services concerning public health
Example: Poor people need more benefits from healthcare centers.


Read the text below.
A study finds that the life expectancy of people throughout the world increased by six years.

According to the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013, people’s average life span rose from 65.3 years in 1990 to 71.5 in 2013. The study also states that the average life expectancy for men and women increased by 5.8 and 6.6 years, respectively.

Maldives [MAWL-deevs] had the biggest life expectancy increase of 29 years—from 32 in 1990 to 61 in 2013. The average life span of Brazilians also rose from 48 to 65 years, while that of the Japanese jumped from 73 to 81 years.

The increase of life expectancy is attributed to the fact that disease prevention and treatment has improved over the years. The number of deaths in high-income regions caused by cardiovascular and cancer diseases has lowered. Deaths in low-income countries caused mostly by diarrhea, respiratory tract infections, and pregnancy disorders have also dropped.

However, the study found that some leading causes of death increased. Deaths caused by hepatitis C rose by 125% while diabetes-related deaths increased by 100%. Also, deaths caused by HIV/AIDS, a communicable disease, increased by 334% in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Global Burden of Disease Study is an analysis conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, a Washington-based research center. The 2013 study analyzed annual deaths in 188 countries and 240 causes of death. The data will be used to help healthcare officials in policy-making, scientists in medical research, and health organizations in donation projects.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         How can the study help in improving medical treatment?
·         In your opinion, why did the life expectancy of the Japanese people increase?

Discussion B

·         Would you like to reach the age of 100? Why or why not?
·         What are the benefits of growing old? 

March 3, 2015