Health spending and education, great factors of the rise in life expectancy

The increase in health spending, the improvement of education and economic progress have been the factors that have contributed the most to raising life expectancy in the developed world in the two decades past, according to the OECD.

Paris, Nov 10 (EFE) .- The increase in health spending, the improvement of education and economic progress have been the factors that have contributed the most to raising life expectancy in the world developed in the past two decades, according to the OECD.

In its biennial report on health published today, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) He indicated that the 98% increase in health spending between 1990 and 2010 allowed to raise average life expectancy in member countries by an average of 42.4 months.

More complete schooling contributed 15.1 additional months in those 20 years, starting from the fact that increasing by 10% the percentage of people who have finished primary school has meant 3.2 more months of life in the 35 countries studied.

The 42% increase in per capita income in that period meant an addition of 13.4 months to life expectancy, which overall rose from 74.8. in 1990 to 80.6 in 2015.

The reduction in smoking, which was 31% in terms of daily smokers, represented five more months of life for the whole population, while the decrease in alcoholism (8% in the amount of alcohol consumed per person) only amounted to 0.4 months.

On this last factor, the authors of the report warned of a deterioration of the situation in some countries. coincidentally, they occupy the last two positions in life expectancy, with 74.2 and 74.5 years, respectively.

They also verified that there were no improvements in the reference period in the reference period. eating habits during this period, but rather the contrary.

In fact, they highlighted that the percentage of overweight population has grown "rapidly" in recent decades, and represented 53.9% of the total in the OECD in 2015, with maximums in Mexico (72.5%) and the United States (70.1%). James, stressed to Efe that although health spending is a key factor for life expectancy, the differences by country are notable and cases such as Spain, Israel, Italy, Korea South or Greece show very good results in terms of health in relation to investment.

The United States is the example of dedicating a lot of money to healthcare (it is the number one far, with $ 9,892 per capita on average, more than twice the $ 4,003 in the OECD) does not guarantee a better life expectancy, which in relative terms is mediocre, with 78.7 years, below 80.6 in the OECD as a whole.

There are three reasons, starting with a very fragmented health system in the United States, where a significant part of the population does not it has medical insurance and where few resources are dedicated to primary care.

In addition, there is bad hygiene of life, noticeable in particular in the obesity record (more than 40% of the women and more than 35% of men), and levels of poverty and inequality among the most pronounced of all member countries.

"Persistent poverty has effects particularly negative effects on health and the drop in income has stronger consequences than its increase ", said the people in charge of the study.

The OECD underlined that for greater efficiency in the public resources for health, some savings paths are a greater commitment to generic drugs (they represent up to 75% in the United States, Chile, Germany or the United Kingdom, but less than 25% in Luxembourg, Italy, Switzerland and Greece) and prescribe antibiotics only when it is "imperative".

Also avoid hospitalizations for minor surgical interventions like cataracts, something that is already done in more than 90% of cases in 20 of the 28 countries analyzed, but that does not reach 60% in Poland, Turkey, Hungary or Slovakia.

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