Global health and longevity issues derive largely from other global problems that cause diseases and their proliferation. They shorten the working and reproductive age of people and the length of their life, and include:
- Deteriorating environment, depletion and diminishing quality of resources;
- Demographic boom and overpopulation in some developing countries;
- Lack of food and its poor quality, starvation and undernourishment;
- Urbanization and increasing stress factors.
- Global health problems are characterized by:
- High child mortality rates and short life expectancy (60 years or lower) in developing countries and in some former Socialist countries (Eurasia);
- High child mortality rates from undernourishment and diseases that could be prevented;
- Increasing mortality caused by the so-called “diseases of civilization” (cardiovascular diseases, chronic lung diseases etc.) and non-infectious diseases (cancer, diabetes etc.), which affect over 36 million people annually;
- Dependence on income levels of mortality rates caused by cardiovascular diseases, which are the most common cause of death in the world: over 80% of deaths from cardiovascular diseases take place in countries with medium or low per capita income levels;
- Increasing mortality level from infectious diseases;
- Fast spread of AIDS;
- High mortality caused by epidemics of infectious diseases that used to be considered defeated (acne, malaria, measles, meningitis, plague and cholera);
- Increasing levels of mental diseases (e.g., schizophrenia);
- Increasing levels of suicides (especially in developed and transition economy countries);
- Emergence of new lethal infections (Ebola fever and MERS).
Besides the above, the following reasons cause global health and longevity problems:
- One billion people having no access to national healthcare systems;
- Low level of healthcare and pharmaceutics in developing countries;
- Socio-economic factors affecting the standard of living and public health (working and living conditions; real wage levels; working day duration; labour intensiveness and workload; nourishment quality; and accessibility of medical care);
- High prices of medicine and medical treatment in several countries;
- Commercial rather than humanistic orientation of pharmaceutical companies;
- Weak social and health policy in a number of countries;
- Smoking, alcoholism and drug use;
- Obesity resulting from cheap high-calorie foods (fast food) and harmful influence of food additives (E ingredients);
- Spread of hypo dynamics;
- Low level of human culture towards one’s health, hygiene and lack of general knowledge (literacy).
- Consequently, possible and productive solutions in the areas of health, healthcare and life expectancy and quality of life must focus on: identifying what causes the spread of diseases, and the decline in the quality of life and environmental deterioration; and ways of improving healthcare and social security.