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A new study identifies the countries where people live healthy lives the longest.
The Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 calculated healthy life expectancy (HALE), which takes into account years of life without terminal disease. Japan was found to have the highest at 73.4 years, followed by Singapore (72.1), Andorra (71.7), Iceland (70.9), and Cyprus (70.7). Rounding out the top 10 were Israel (70.6), France (70.4), Italy (70.2), South Korea (70.16), and Canada (70.08). The United States averaged a HALE of just 67.2 years. Overall HALE has risen 5.4 years since 1990, from 56.9 years in 1990 to 62.3 years in 2013.
Just as significantly, the study, which was conducted by an international team of researchers led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, found that overall life expectancy for both sexes has risen 6.2 years, from 65.3 years in 1990, to 71.5 years in 2013.
A majority of the 188 countries studied saw "significant and positive" changes in HALE between 1990 and 2013, the researchers said.
"The world has made great progress in health, but now the challenge is to invest in finding more effective ways of preventing or treating the major causes of illness and disability," said Professor Theo Vos of IHME, the study's lead author.
The study's life expectancy reflects the most recent number released by the World Health Organization, which also reported a six-year increase between 1990 and 2013, from 65 to 71 years.
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