3 Factors That Affect Your Life Expectancy Rate

When will I die? A question pondered by all of us at one point or another throughout our lives. The answer is not as straight forward as the question due to the plethora of variables that influence our life expectancy. Life expectancy is the average number of years of life a person will live and varies so significantly that people in Swaziland have an average life expectancy of 31.99 years while people in Japan live an average of 82 years.

1. Demographics

Life expectancy is highly dependent upon your demographics as an individual. The primary factors include gender, ethnicity, and genetics. Women typically live longer than men. The modern day American male will live to be an average age of 76.2 versus 81.3 for women, which is an increase for men as trends have shown that men are starting to close the gap.  In 2011 life expectancy was highest for Hispanics in both males and females. In each ethnic group, females had higher life expectancies than males. Life expectancy ranged from 71.7 years for non-Hispanic black males to 83.7 years for Hispanic females.  Genetic background makes a significant impact on life expectancy due to the pre-disposition for diseases. Many diseases such as cardiac disease and cancer are highly pre-determined by genetic background and also are the two leading causes of mortality in the US.

2. Socioeconomics

Possibly stronger then demographics is the socioeconomic status of a person which pre-determines  life expectancy. Income, education, and gross national income (GNI) per capita are the most significant factors that influence life expectancy.  Recent studies investigating possible determinants of life expectancy found that the most important determinant was income. Poverty stricken nations lack access to some of the most fundamental human necessities such as clean water, food and healthcare. These factors create a high spread of disease and inability to be treated and hospitalized properly.  A college education lowers five-year mortality by 1.8 percentage points; it also reduces the risk of heart disease by 2.16 percentage points, and the risk of diabetes by 1.3 percentage points.  Lack of education creates a diminished life expectancy primarily as a result of differences in behavior across education groups.

3. Lifestyle

The lifestyle behaviors that on exudes are the final determinant of life expectancy and can greatly impact it based upon an individual’s choices in smoking, drinking, diet/exercise, use of illegal drugs, household safety, use of preventive medical care, and care for hypertension and diabetes . Individuals who live a sedentary lifestyle, sit long amounts of time, consume diets high in saturated fat and sugar as well as smoke and drink regularly are at significantly greater risk for developing various diseases that can greatly reduce life expectancy.

About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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