Explanation of Some Factors Affecting Death Rates and Life Expectancy
- Nourishment: If you have a shortage of food (under nourished) you are more vulnerable to disease. If whole countries suffer from famine a country's death rate may dramatically increase - again it will normally be the old and young affected first. Under nourishment is not the only problem, malnourishment can also increase death rates. This is when people are eating a bad diet that may contain too much salt and/or fat.
- Sex: In nearly every country women live longer than men (usually 5-10 years longer). This is not fully understood, but it is believed to be a combination of biological and lifestyle reasons. Women tend to suffer cardiovascular disease later in life and men tend to cause more damage to themselves through drinking and smoking.
- Occupation: Some jobs are more physically or mentally demanding than others and can therefore affect peoples health. A job that keeps people active may prolong health, but if it is active and dangerous like mining, it might shorten life. Some jobs like teaching are said to be stressful and may reduce life expectancy.
- Age: The very young and the very old are most vulnerable to disease, malnourishment and natural disasters and therefore more likely to have a higher incidence of dieing.
- Accommodation: The quality of your house can play a big factor in your life expectancy. If you live in an informal settlement you are more vulnerable to disease, natural disasters and sometimes crime. However, if you live in a modern structure you will probably enjoy running water, mains electricity and protection from the weather, therefore helping you remain healthy.
- Literacy: massive influence on your health and life expectancy Better job prospects, but also allows you to know how to care for yourself i.e. what to eat and what to do if you are ill.
- Residence: The location/country that you are born play a massive role in your life expectancy. If you are born into a developed, literate and peaceful country e.g. Japan your life expectancy is going to be high. However, if you are born into a poor, drought and famine ridden country that is at war e.g. Somalia then your life expectancy is going to be low.