SEOUL, Dec. 6 (Korea Bizwire) – Thanks to advances in healthcare, life expectancy for South Koreans is trending upwards, but longer living has come hand in hand with longer periods of poor health.
Last year’s newborns face the highest odds of dying from cancer during their lives. Those that can avoid the disease will live an average 3.9 years longer.
Statistics Korea released a report on December 5 which contained data showing male and female infants born last year will spend 14.6 years and 20.2 years in poor health due to illness or accidents.
The life expectancy for infants was reported as 79.3 years for boys and 85.4 for girls. According to the Statistics Korea report, the respective genders can expect 82.4 percent and 77.3 percent of their lives to be spent in good health.
When calculated as a whole, life expectancy was measured at 82.4 years, and the expected duration of good health amounted to 64.9 years compared to 17.5 years for poor health.
The expected duration of healthy living has been incrementally shrinking in the past few years, from 81.3 percent in 2012 to 79.7 percent by 2014.
A discrepancy was found between the official statistics and general opinions regarding periods of poor health. Regarding those born in 2016, males were thought to suffer 10.5 years and females 17.0 years of their lives under adverse health conditions.
General opinion also viewed healthy life durations to be on the rise, from 81.8 percent in 2012 to 83.2 percent by 2016 (82.6 percent in 2014).
Statistics Korea explained that factors such as increased visits to hospitals by those 60-years old and above, as well longer stays in nursing homes by seniors in advanced age, have likely had an impact on the research results.
The agency added that there is a growing number of people who rated their own health more positively than before, possibly the reason behind the relatively optimistic view on life and health held by the general public.
Last year’s newborns are more likely to die of cancer than any other cause (21.3 percent). Others risk factors identified were heart problems (11.8 percent), cerebrovascular concerns (8.8 percent) and pneumonia (7.8 percent).
By gender, the odds of dying from either cancer, heart problems or cerebrovascular concerns were reported as 45.3 percent for males and 38.8 percent for females.
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)