Life expectancy rates on decline in Greece in particular, Balkan Countries in general

The economic crisis sweeping across Greece had a considerable impact on certain ages and overall shortens life expectancy rates.

An Imperial College London study group revealed that a group of researchers studied life expectancy by 2030 in 35 countries across the world, one of which is Greece and reported that life expectancy rates are on the decline.

“In Greece in recent years there has been an increase in mortality at certain ages and this is probably related to the difficult economic situation in the country,” Vasilis Kontis, one of the researchers told sources.

According to the study, “The result was a slowing down of the life expectancy rate, which would remain low under these conditions.”

Since the 1960s until the beginning of the current decade, life expectancy in Greece was on the rise. Up until 2012, life expectancy for women was around 83 years and 78 for men.

Kontis further pointed out that “The impact of the crisis is significant, as Greece has drastically cut spending on health.”

 “Countries with a rapid increase in life expectancy are those with strong health systems and healthcare and public health successes, such as the prognosis and treatment of chronic diseases or the reduction of obesity and smoking,” he elaborated.

In order for a country to have its citizens live longer, policies should be in place to ensure a good quality of life for the elderly and help to avoid the burden on the health system. On the larger scale, a report had said that in several Balkans countries a drop in population of more than 15 per cent is expected by the year 2050.

“Several countries are expected to see their populations decline by more than 15 per cent by 2050,  including Bulgaria, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine and the United States Virgin Islands,” the report published on June 21 said.

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