UN: Life expectancy worldwide has increased by 5 years
An elderly woman strolls in a market place in Tokyo in this 2012 file photo. (AP Photo/Junji Kurokawa)
LONDON -- Life expectancy worldwide has increased by about five years in the last 15 years according to a report issued Thursday by the World Health Organization in the fastest gain since the 1960s.
The biggest increase was seen in Africa due to improvements in health care for children and the better availability of medicines, including those for malaria and AIDS.
The UN health agency says that globally, life expectancy for a baby born in 2015 was 71 for women and 69 for men, with women in Japan and men in Switzerland typically living the longest.
Sierra Leone had the lowest life expectancy for both genders.
The report noted there were glaring gaps in data from some countries and that about half of all deaths worldwide aren't registered.