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Table of Contents   
LETTER TO EDITOR  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 765-766
Increase in average life expectancy and the need to strengthen the monitoring process to track the progress of Sustainable Development Goals


Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

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Date of Web Publication21-Aug-2017
 

How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Increase in average life expectancy and the need to strengthen the monitoring process to track the progress of Sustainable Development Goals. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:765-6

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Increase in average life expectancy and the need to strengthen the monitoring process to track the progress of Sustainable Development Goals. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Sep 17];10:765-6. Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/3/765/213141


Dear Sir,

The member states of the United Nations have adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, which aims to integrate social, economic, and environmental dimensions and ensure that sustainable development can be accomplished by 2030.[1] Ensuring optimal health and achieving universal health coverage for all at all ages (SDG 3) occupies the center stage and is inextricably linked with the rest of the other proposed goals.[1]

The formulated Sustainable Development Goals have major implications for the health sector, and in the global mission to successfully achieve each one of them, there is a significant need for a coherent, integrated, and a multisectoral approach with a special focus on the principle of equity at global, regional, and national front.[1] The findings obtained from a recently released report by the World Health Organization suggest that since 2000, the average global life expectancy has increased by 5 years, with the current life expectancy being 71.4 years.[2] However, the achieved gains have not been uniform, with many nations not meeting the average gain, especially from the African region.[2] Life expectancy is determined by the mortality rates at all ages, and all health and health-related initiatives play a defining role.[3] In fact, a consistent improvement of more than 3 years has been observed per decade since mid-19th century, except in the 1990s.[1],[3]

Further, an average increase of 1.7 years in the life expectancy at age 60 has also been observed in the 2000–2015 time intervals, with highest gain in the European region.[2] In addition, females have reported a higher life expectancy than males by almost 4.7 years in the year 2015.[2],[4] Also, the current trend suggests that the difference in the life expectancy between high- and low-income nations is expected to reduce to 13 years by the end of the 3rd decade of the 20th century.[1] A remarkable improvement has even been obtained in healthy life expectancy (accounts for both deaths as well as years of life lived with disability due to musculoskeletal disorders–mental illnesses–substance abuse–chronic disorders, etc.), with the current average estimate being 63.1 years, which is much less than the overall life expectancy.[1],[2]

Even though, it is a fact that most of the nation has been successful in minimizing the avoidable suffering and premature deaths attributed to preventable and treatable diseases, there is a significant heterogeneity between and within the nations as well.[3],[4],[5] Most of the governments have begun to translate the newer agenda into their development plans and strategies, in an attempt to ensure that no one is left behind, and all the existing inequalities and discrimination are neutralized.[2],[3],[4] However, in order to track the progress of these health-related goals, there is an extensive need to strengthen the process of monitoring in all nations.[1] This process can be streamlined through the establishment of a set of indicators and targets and based on the progress observed, additional prioritization or financial support can be planned.[1],[3],[4] Further, there is a need to simultaneously assess the mortality rates in different age groups and due to specific etiological factors as well to ensure that the overall estimates of life expectancy can be more reliable.[3],[4],[5]

To conclude, a lot still needs to be done to improve the life expectancy uniformly across the globe. Nevertheless, the establishment of the specific indicators and a systematic improvement in the monitoring process will significantly aid the stakeholders to obtain the most precise estimates of life expectancy.

Acknowledgement

SRS contributed in the conception or design of the work, drafting of the work, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

PSS contributed in the literature review, revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

JR contributed in revising the draft, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
   References Top

1.
World Health Organization World Health Statistics 2016: Monitoring health for the SDGs. Geneva; WHO press; 2016.p. 1-13.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
World Health Organization Life expectancy increased by 5 years since 2000, but health inequalities persist; 2016. Available from: http://who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2016/health-inequalities-persist/en/ Accessed May 19 2016  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Neve J, Briers G. Reducing inequalities in health and life expectancy. Nurs Times 2016;112:12-4.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Public health strategies to increase the average global life expectancy. Int J Health Syst Disaster Manage 2015;3:46-7.  Back to cited text no. 4
  [Full text]  
5.
McGinnis JM. Income, life expectancy, and community health: Underscoring the opportunity. JAMA 2016;315:1709-10.  Back to cited text no. 5
    

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Correspondence Address:
Saurabh R Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai village, Thiruporur: Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.213141

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