Test Tubes Obesity, an epidemic affecting millions of people across the globe may result in several health issues. An analysis of trends over the last 40 years claims that life expectancy in Europe has been increasing in spite of the obesity epidemic among people in Britain than those living in the US. The research findings probably counteract concerns that the rising life expectancy trend in high income countries is coming to an end due to diseases arising from obesity.

Over the last five years, most European countries have seemingly followed a positive direction, though the gap between East and West remains entrenched. Life expectancy has been improving in other Western European countries as well as the UK. A major contributor to this possibly is the decrease of deaths from cardiovascular disease. Deaths from heart disease in the UK have reportedly witnessed some of the largest and most rapid falls than any Western European country. These reductions may be declined due to improvements in treatment and drop in smoking as well as other risk factors.

“Despite what many may have assumed, and without being complacent, current trends in European life expectancy are in a positive direction. But while the European experience since 1980 underlines the centrality of the social, political and economic determinants of health, many intriguing and important questions remain unanswered about the drivers of these extraordinary trends,” said epidemiologist and population health expert Professor David Leon, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Even though the US spends most per capita on health care than any other country in the world, it allegedly has the same level of life expectancy than of the Western European country. Life expectancy of the US in 2007 presumably was 78 years and in the UK was 80 years. It can therefore be assumed that GDP and health care expenditure per capita need not predict accurate population health within high income countries. All through the investigation, an astonishing contrast between East and West appeared. Since the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, life expectancy has been purportedly rising in countries of central Europe such as Hungary, Poland as well as the Czech Republic.

Scientists observed that the trends in Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union have been less positive, with life expectancy going up and down dramatically over the past 25 years. This may be particularly because of modifications in hazardous drinking. In 2008 the male life expectancy of the UK possibly was 77.9 and female life expectancy stood at 82.0. Russian men, on the other hand, were presumed to live to 61.8 and women to 74.2. Life expectancy is apparently down due to a reduction in alcohol related deaths rather than by broader health improvements that characterize steadier increases in the rest of Europe.

The research is published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.