Norwegian longevity slips in world rankings

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Norwegians still live a relatively long time, with most expected to reach the age of 81. They’re losing ground, though, compared to other countries, falling to 13th place in the world.

State health authorities reported that more western nations have surpassed Norway in expected longevity since 1990. People in Switzerland, for example, live an average of 1.4 years longer than Norwegians, and that has a lot to do with cancer survival rates, said state health director Bjørn Guldvog when presenting an annual report on the state of of Norwegian health and welfare.

More people die from cancer in Norway than in other western countries. The cancer death rate in Switzerland has fallen, while cancer, lung and heart ailments are the cause of 80 percent of deaths in Norway. While Norway ranks well in survival rates, there simply have been far more cases of cancer in Norway in recent years, Guldvog said.

He was glad to report that more Norwegians have stopped smoking, but worried that a rise in high school dropout rates can lead to higher death rates, because education and longevity are linked.

newsinenglish.no staff