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Extended Life Expectancy and the Quality of Life

Recent data reviewed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicates that the life expectancy of the average American is on the rise. From 2008-2009, the life expectancy for men increased from 75.6-76 years and for women it rose from 80.6-80.9 years. While it’s very encouraging that people are living longer, researchers wonder whether their quality of life has also improved.


The Institute of Medicine would argue that the quality of life has not necessarily improved in tandem with an individual’s life span expanding. Accrued treatment statistics have indicated that an increasing percentage of individuals are living with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, and COPD.


Attribution for these metrics is placed on the advancements of medical science, which has allowed for the development of more effective treatments of heart diseases and strokes, but there hasn’t been nearly enough focus placed on improving overall wellness. The disparities that exist in the life expectancy data between the different sexes, races, and income levels suggests that lifestyle may have a significant effect on an individual’s quality of life during these additional years.


What can be done?

— Healthy diet and exercise

— Routine preventative medical screening

— Monitoring of glucose levels

— Regular blood pressure checks

— Assessment of breathing and oxygen saturation

— Avoidance of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs


Incorporating the tips listed above will help improve the quality of life that one experiences during their extended years of life. If we’re going to live longer, why not start making the necessary lifestyle changes now to help ensure that the additional years we get to live are spent living in good health.



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