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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Is the life span of humans increasing or decreasing?

    Do you feel that the life span of humans has increased due to better health care? Or is it on the vane due to activities which are keeping people unfit?

    The average life span of a human is said to be 80 years. But today, is the life span of human increasing or decreasing? In earlier days, people stayed fit and active. People had a lot of physical tasks to do and people had to walk or cycle for longer distances and that way people stayed healthier. But there was no advancement of medicinal field and hence many diseases would go unnoticed or untreated and people had to suffer or take the last breath.

    But today, people have no physical activity. Even for a shorter distance, people prefer a vehicle over walking and most of the work is automated. We humans are getting lazier and many health conditions are associated but with improvement in medicines most of the diseases are curable or can be controlled.

    So my question is, life span earlier was more as people were active and healthy or is it more now with improvement in medicinal field?
  • #626112
    Aged people are more now. If we look at the census figures as per the 2001 census there were only 4.8 percent of the population who were aged more than 65 years. At the same time the same figure has risen to 5.3 percent in 2011 census. There are several people who are 90 and above now. This is one of the reasons, perhaps the major reason that retirement age is going on increasing in several institutions including Government departments. There are continuing demand also from the employees for raising the retirement age.
    Several reasons are there for the increased life span. Mainly it is the advancement in the modern medical field. Several diseases are detected sufficiently early and remedies taken. Earlier treatment started only in an advanced stage. More preventive medicines are also available these days. Medical facilities are also available even in villages. All these lead to lengthen the life span.


  • #626122
    According to me the life span of human beings has decreased since many years. Normally a person would be alive from 80 to 100 years in those days, but now the life expectancy has fallen down between 50 and 80. The reason being un-cared living style,eating habits,stress and tension. All this gives rise to lots changes in living conditions. Marriage happens late, having children also takes time but the old age situation comes to person at early and thus he loose all the confidence in life. And later he embraces the death at early age.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #626123
    There is statistical evidence to prove that longevity has increased. This has happened primarily because of developments in the medical field and discovery/inventions of many new medicines/procedures to cure many diseases. Take the example of discovery of penicillin, an antibiotic which transformed the way of treatment of many diseases.
    Many diseases like plague etc. which used to cause death of almost half of the population of the area, are not heard of nowadays.
    Famine, floods and such other factors also used to cause havoc and wipe of a chunk of the inhabitants of the affected area.
    Wars also were frequent resulting in many unfortunate untimely deaths. Imagine the scenario at the end of the day during a war in the medieval periods when there were no modern hospitals and doctors/nurses.

    Let us encourage each other in sharing knowledge.

  • #626133
    There is a slight misconception regarding the terms life expectancy and lifespan. Many confuse the exact meaning between these two and some use it as interchangeable terms. Both are very different terms and have different meanings.

    Lifespan is the duration of a period a person can live from birth. The duration since the human is born until death is termed as lifespan. This can be used for any living organism.

    Life expectancy means the number of years that a person can live from a certain age. It is commonly used for humans and it is statistically and mathematically calculated. It gives statistical data from a set of data collected scientifically.

    Lifespan is a statistical average and is more versatile than life expectancy. Life expectancy depends on several factors such as economic, gender, race, diet, habits, geographical location and much more. With present medical advances and research, the expectancy has increased but on average the lifespan has reduced drastically when compared to our ancestors.

    I will give example in an understandable way:

    Let us consider our average lifespan is 80 years. Our ancestors may be a century or a couple of centuries ago had an average lifespan of 100 years. This means that our lifespan has decreased. On the other hand, if we talk about expectancy, let us consider a person lives another 40 years when calculated at the age of 35. This span of 40 years can improve or increase to another 4 - 5 years (with advanced medicine and change of lifestyle) and that is why it is said, life expectancy is increased and not lifespan.

    Thank You
    Dr. V. Shashikanth

  • #626135
    Thank you Dr. Shashikanth for your detailed explanation. It is good to understand the difference between Life span and life expectancy. The example provided also simple and understandable.
    I always believe that few terms need to be properly differentiated in order to understand the complete meaning of it and especially to understand that particular subject. In the same way, this differences helps me to understand the subject of medical advancement in human life.

    Sri Vetri
    Spread Positivism

  • #626148
    The longevity of the human being is increased. These days we see many people living more than 80 years. There are people who are more than 90 also. The main reason for this increase is the advancements in the field of medicine wherein many new molecules are being discovered which are used to reduce the disease. In the 1940s and 1950s, there are no proper medicines for TB. Many people used to suffer from this problem. But these days there are very good medicines for this and we rarely hear people dying because of TB. Even many types of Cancers are being cured now.
    Another point I feel is the awareness among the people regarding the medicines and hygienic way of living. Many are aware of the problems with unhygienic food. The importance of physical exercise and good food habits are also increasing the longevity of the person.

    always confident

  • #626151
    Life expectancy at birth measures the longevity of human beings in a country. The longevity has been increasing all over the world. For example, in India, the value for life expectancy at birth, female (years) was 69.88 as of 2015, whereas it was 40.41 in 1960.
    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #626165
    It would be difficult to make a generalized statement about the title of the thread.

    The figures are difficult to arrive at, it includes collating many years of statistics from many parts of the world and we need to pay importance to where the data is coming from and how is it collected. For example, in India, Kerala would have a better literacy rate, better infant mortality rate and hence a better life expectancy at birth.
    The lifespan is gradually decreasing and the life expectancy at birth is gradually increasing would be an extremely simplified version. Apart from advances in healthcare, it is the access and affordability that is important.

    Commonsense would tell us that it would be a matter of time before we offset the gains with advances in healthcare by our unhealthy lifestyle and rapid increase in diabetes, hypertension, obesity. Once the deaths related to these diseases (including chronic diseases related to pollution) actually reflects on the data then we would see a drop in life expectancy also.

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