Life expectancy is perhaps the most important measure of health. It is readily comparable across countries and asks the most fundamental question concerning health: how long can the typical person expect to live?
Life expectancy increases due to healthcare improvements like the introduction of vaccines, the development of drugs or positive behavior changes like the reduction in smoking or drinking rates. During the 20th century, the average lifespan in the United States increased by more than 30 years as the rates of infectious diseases declined. Read the rest of this entry »