An Australian man who’s above age 74 we know with 100 per cent certainty has outlived half of his cohort – he’s an above-average survivor compared to his peers born in the same year.
Australian men have the highest life expectancy — 74.1 years — as compared to any other group of males in the world, finds a study, according to ANI.
The study published in the journal — Population Studies — introduced a new way of measuring life expectancy, accounting for the historical mortality conditions that today’s older generations lived through.
The news is good for Australian women too as the study showed they’re ranked second, behind their Swiss counterparts.
Dr Collin Payne co-led the study, which used data from 15 countries across Europe, North America and Asia.
“Popular belief has it that Japan and the Nordic countries are doing really well in terms ofhealth, wellbeing, and longevity. But Australia is right there,” said Dr Payne.
“The results have a lot to do with long term stability and the fact Australians had a high standard of living for a really, really long time. Simple things like having enough to eat, and not seeing a lot of major conflict plays a part,” added Dr Payne.
Dr Payne’s study grouped people by the year of birth, separating ‘early’ deaths from ‘late’ deaths, to come up with the age at which someone can be considered an ‘above-average’ survivor.
“Most measures of life expectancy are just based on mortality rates at a given time. It’s basically saying if you took a hypothetical group of people and put them through the mortality rates that a country experienced in 2018, for example, they would live to an average age of 80,” said Dr Payne.
“But that doesn’t tell you anything about the life courses of people, as they’ve lived through to old age. Our measure takes the life course into account, including mortality rates from 50, 60, or 70 years ago,” he said.
“What matters is we’re comparing a group of people who were born in the same year, and so have experienced similar conditions throughout their life.”
Dr Payne said this method allows them to clearly see whether someone is reaching their cohort’s life expectancy.
“For example, an Australian man who’s above age 74 we know with 100 per cent certainty has outlived half of his cohort – he’s an above-average survivor compared to his peers born in the same year,” he said.
“And those figures are higher here than anywhere else that we’ve measured life expectancy. On the other hand, any man who’s died before age 74 is not living up to their cohort’s life expectancy.”
Dr Payne said there are a number of factors that might’ve contributed to Australia jumping ahead in these new rankings.
“Mortality was really high in Japan in the 30s, 40s, and 50s. In Australia, mortality was really low during that time. French males, for example, drop out because a lot of them died during WW2, some from direct conflict, others from childhood conditions,” Dr Payne said.