In 2040, the Colombians will live to be 81 years old

After analyzing data from 195 countries, researchers at the University of Washington predicted how life expectancy will change. The one in Colombia will increase by 3 years and will face threats such as diabetes.

Seniors in Plaza Bolívar, Cartagena. Javier Psilocybin / Flickr

If today was the year 2040, what would be the life expectancy in the countries? Which diseases should affect governments most? What trends can affect the health of the population? The Institute of Metrics and Health Assessment (IHME) of the University of Washington, Seattle, USA, has just presented in The Lancet, one of the most prestigious medical journals in the medical world, the result of a great effort that try to solve these questions

To do so, 38 researchers analyzed hundreds of data from 195 countries, including Colombia, which allowed them to model future scenarios and raise possible predictions about the causes of death and the likely life expectancy that these nations will have. They have different conclusions. The main one indicates that, in the best scenario, in all countries there will be a slight increase in their life expectancy, within two decades. On average, it will increase by 4.4 years. In the worst case, half of them could have lower rates than the current ones.

By skipping the technical details of this effort called "Prognosis of life expectancy, lost years of life and mortality for all the causes and causes specific to 250 causes of death", there are several important points. In the words of Kyle Foreman, director of IHME, this large report indicates, for example, what the five main health factors will be that explain the future trajectory of mortality. They are high blood pressure, high body mass index, high blood sugar, tobacco consumption and alcohol consumption. Atmospheric pollution is in sixth place.

Foreman said in a press release that this study is unprecedented and "provides a more robust statistical model and more complete and detailed estimates of risk factors and diseases". (70% of Colombians have a poor perception of health services)

The authors' estimates indicate that, in the Colombian case, the population will pass from an average life expectancy of 78.2 years to 81 years in 2040. It would place it in 44th place out of 195 countries. , above Argentina (76th place) and Brazil (82nd), but under Peru (35th place) and Chile (38th place). In the best of cases, this indicator could increase by 5.3 years in Colombia. In the worst case, only 0.3 years.

Although today, according to IHME analysis, the five leading causes of death in our country are cardiac ischemia, interpersonal violence, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Alzheimer's disease and stroke. , in two decades this list will vary slightly. Ischemic heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, chronic kidney disease, stroke and diabetes will be the main causes of death. (With the increase in global temperature, the mental health of the population will worsen)

These are diseases that are also replicated in several countries and represent a message that epidemiologists have been warning for years: non-communicable diseases will become a real headache. Fighting against obesity, tobacco, alcohol, air pollution and hypertension will be the most effective mechanism to prevent them from taking advantage of it.

In this scenario, Spain will be the country with the longest life expectancy. On average, its citizens will live 85.8 years. the top 5 are completed by Japan (85.7 years), Singapore (85.4 years), Switzerland (85.2 years) and Portugal (84.5 years). Lesotho (Africa), on the other hand, will occupy the last place. His life expectancy will be 45.3 years.

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