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REVEALED: Why Kenyan women live longer than their men

Women in Kenya are enjoying a higher life expectancy than men, living to an average of 67.5 years compared to 63 for men.

On the whole, life expectancy has been increasing over the last two decades but has been strained by HIV/Aids and respiratory and diarrhoeal infections.

A health research conducted at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) found that in 2013, HIV, respiratory infections, diarrhoea and tuberculosis were the diseases most prevalent among men.

For women, Aids, lower respiratory infections (such as pneumonia and bronchitis), diarrhoea, malaria and congenital anomalies were the most prevalent illnesses. Congenital illnesses are conditions that one is born with, which can affect one’s development and general well being.

Although many in Kenya are living longer, it says, they are also living with illnesses or injuries.

LIVING LONGER

The study, which examined the global burden of disease, the years that one lives in good health and those one lives with an injury or illness, analysed 306 illnesses and injuries in 188 countries between 1990 and 2013. The results were published on Thursday in the journal, The Lancet.

One of the co-authors of the study, Dr Tom Achoki, said it was encouraging that Kenyans are living longer. However, he lamented that the high number of deaths arising from HIV “have overshadowed significant gains against diseases like malaria.”

According to the study, Kenya’s disease burden arises from low weight in children, household air pollution due to use of solid fuels and inadequate breast-feeding.

The study says that in 2010, the highest risk factor to good health among children under the age of five was being underweight, while among those aged between 15 and 49, the highest risk factor was alcohol abuse.

The researchers also examined the role that socio-demographic status – a combination of income, age, fertility rates and average years of schooling – plays in determining health.

They noted that socio-demographic status is much less responsible for the variations seen for ailments, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Read the full story here.

SOURCE: Daily Nation