Europe’s life expectancy rises by five years, but health inequalities remain

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 14 March 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f1687
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. 1London

Life expectancy increased by five years to 76 years between 1980 and 2010 across the World Health Organization’s Europe region, but major health inequalities remain, says WHO.

WHO’s European Health Report 2012 describes this gain in life expectancy as a “major success” for the 53 countries of the region, which extends to Israel in the south and Kazakhstan in the east.1 It predicts that average life expectancy at birth will increase to nearly 81 years by 2050. However, average life expectancy at birth differs widely between countries, ranging from 82.2 years in Switzerland to 68.7 years in Kazakhstan.

The difference between men and women remains, with women’s life expectancy reaching an average of 80 years in 2010, while men averaged …

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