Spanish don’t suffer health problems of ‘average’ 65-year-old until they turn 75.1 says study

LIVE LONGER: Spain is famous for its Mediterranean diet . File image. Photo credit: Shutterstock

A NEW report claims that people in Spain don’t suffer the health problems of an average 65-year-old until they turn the ripe age of 75.1.

The country that is famous for its Mediterranean diet is just one year – and seven places – behind chart-toppers Japan and Switzerland who’s population may not expect the same problems until they reach the age of 76.1.

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The results are from 195 countries in the first study of its kind, published in The Lancet, which evaluated the rate at which people develop age-related diseases across the world. 

Researchers first identified 92 age-related diseases, including 13 cardiovascular, 35 cancers, six chronic respiratory diseases, three diabetes and kidney diseases and six injuries. 

They measured how much of a burden these diseases had on the amount of health years lived using global average 65-year-olds as a reference. 

The study shows  Brits won’t experience the problems of a 65-year-old until they are 70, while Americans aren’t far behind on 68 years.

At the other end of the scale is Papua New Guinea, where the population will begin to suffer ill health when they’re just 46.

The study found that in 2017, people in 108 countries developed problems associated with ageing before they hit the age at which it would be expected.

The authors said: ‘Understanding which factors contributed to the successful delay, such as high physical activity, lower smoking rate, and better access to care, could shed light on how to reduce the projected burden of population ageing.’

Dr Angela Chang, from the University of Washington, said: “These disparate findings show that increased life expectancy at older ages can either be an opportunity or a threat to the overall welfare of populations, depending on the ageing-related health problems the population experiences regardless of chronological age. “


  • Japan: 76.1
  • Switzerland: 76.1
  • France: 76.0
  • Singapore: 76.0
  • Kuwait: 75.3
  • South Korea: 75.1
  • Spain: 75.1
  • Italy: 74.8
  • Puerto Rico: 74.6
  • Peru: 74.3


  • Papua New Guinea: 45.6
  • Marshall Islands: 51.0
  • Afghanistan: 51.6
  • Vanuatu: 52.2
  • Solomon Islands: 53.4
  • Central African Republic: 53.6
  • Lesotho: 53.6
  • Kiribati: 54.2
  • Guinea-Bissau: 54.5
  • Fed. States of Micronesia: 55.0


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