According to the World Health Statistics report of 2021, women in India can expect to live three years longer than men on average. However, this does not necessarily translate into a healthy life. Globally, women can expect to live five years longer than men but the healthy living statistics shrink to 2.4 years. The data also mentioned that even though the life expectancy is high, the last nine years have not been beneficial.
Increase In Lifespan
Experts are concerned that over the years, doctors, scientists and researchers have focused on prolonging the duration of life but not on enhancing the quality of it. This is most worrying for countries with a life expectancy of 80 years. While they witnessed an improvement in life expectancy, the healthy life expectancy remained stagnant, or in some cases, declined.
Oman and Afghanistan are the only two countries where men have a higher life expectancy than women. On the other hand, there are nearly a dozen countries in which men have a healthier life. Poonam Muttreja, the executive director of Population Foundation of India, said that while women's life expectancy is significantly higher than men's, it does not mean that women have healthier lives than men. She mentioned several behind it, including women's lack of access and decision-making about their bodies. She told the Times of India that older women have a higher occurrence of cardiovascular diseases and suffer from a poor nutritional status than men.
Interestingly, in countries with the best life expectancy like Sweden, the Netherlands and Switzerland, the difference between life expectancy and healthy life expectancy is negligible. Experts said that the effort should be to reduce the gap between life expectancy and healthy life expectancy.