med-dietAccording to the World Health Organisation statistics 2014 report, women that live in Spain have among the highest life expectancy in the world, coming second only to Japan.

A new report has shown that we are all living longer. According to the World Health Organisation, a girl born in 2012 can now expect to live until 73 and a boy can expect to live until 68. These figures show a six-year increase in life expectancy when compared with statistics from 1990.

There are many reasons why we are all living longer. One of the main factors is improved medical treatments for some of the most serious conditions; major medical advances are playing a part in increased life expectancy.

Other factors include improved detection rates of illnesses and earlier intervention, and the fact that many people are now more health-conscious than they once were. Moreover, the WHO report shows that another reason behind longer life expectancy is the fact that fewer children are dying before their fifth birthday.

Dr. Ties Boerma, Director of the Department of Health Statistics and Information Systems at WHO, further explains why people are living longer:

"In high-income countries, much of the gain in life expectancy is due to success in tackling noncommunicable diseases."

"Fewer men and women are dying before they get to their 60th birthday from heart disease and stroke. Richer countries have become better at monitoring and managing high blood pressure for example."

The report also highlights the gap between rich and poor countries. Children born in a low income country do not live as long due to a number of factors include poor access to medication and treatments, and poor nutrition.

Life Expectancy for Women in Spain

One country highlighted in the report is Spain. According to the World Health Organisation statistics 2014 report, women that live in Spain have among the highest life expectancy in the world, coming second only to Japan.

Women that live in Spain can expect to live to 85, however, life expectancy for males in Spain isn't nearly as good; Spanish men don't even appear in the top ten for life expectancy. This is the same throughout the world; the OECD says there are many reasons for the lower life expectancy of men. The main factors are usually behavioural, lifestyle and working patterns. Moreover, women are thought to be genetically less prone to some serious illnesses.

In addition, more men than women are overweight or obese, and with obesity comes the threat of many potentially life shortening diseases such as heart disease, cancers and type 2 diabetes. Men are also more likely to die from circulatory diseases, and one of the major reasons for this is their diet.

So Why Do Spanish Women Live so Long?

Lifestyle Factors

As detailed below there are also many lifestyle factors that may improve life expectancy for women in Spain. These Include:


The Spanish diet is often high in olive oil and red wine. Olive oil is known to be beneficial to the health of the heart as is red wine. The diet eaten here in Spain is often referred to as the Mediterranean diet and it is regarded as one of the healthiest diets in the world.

The Mediterranean diet consists of foods that are high in antioxidants and low in bad fats; antioxidants play a crucial role in helping to ward off diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

This Mediterranean diet is one of the most balanced in the world, and it is based on healthy, locally grown natural produce. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, pulses and fish all form part of the Mediterranean diet.

This type of diet is also rich in fruits and vegetables; healthy grains such as rice and healthy amounts of local dairy produce such as eggs and cheese form a part of the diet.

Oily fish is high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to have many health benefits. Omega-3 is believed to contribute to heart health; it is also understood to ward off joint diseases such as arthritis and this can enable people stay active for longer.

In addition, the Mediterranean diet is a way of life in Spain. It means eating socially with friends and family in a calm and unrushed environment.

Relaxed Lifestyle

Another reason for a longer life expectancy is the relaxed way of life in Spain. Stress is known to cause many health problems including high blood pressure, which can leave a person more susceptible to a heart attack or stroke.

Sunshine and Vitamin D

Sunshine is vital for the production of vitamin D or more specifically, vitamin D3. Vitamin D is known to protect people from cancer and it also helps to maintain strong bones, reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Moreover, vitamin D is known to help boost the immune system, helping to ward off many common diseases.

Social Life

Research has shown that people with an active social life are more likely to live longer. This means the more interactions a person has with other people, the longer the lifespan is likely to be.


The WHO report also details the declining use of tobacco. This is another reason life expectancy is increasing the world over. Smoking has long been associated with life-threatening diseases such as cancers and heart disease; its declining use is leading to a longer life expectancy worldwide.

So if you live here or plan on coming to live here in the near future, you will be pleased to know that if you to develop a healthy Mediterranean style diet, your life expectancy will increase dramatically.

As we say here in Spain; Salud!

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