Okinawa women lose No. 1 spot in life expectancy

The latest figures on life expectancy in each prefecture in Japan that the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare published this week, sent shock waves through the officials at Okinawa Prefecture. According to the figures, which are based on the year 2010, Okinawa women who were born in 2010 are expected to live to be 87.02 years old when they die. That puts the women on the third place in the nation, and marks the first time that they are not on the first place since the statistics first were published in 1975.

Men’s life expectance also went down to 79.4 years, which puts them on the 30th place in the nation, and is down five places since the last statistics were published in 2005.

Officials at the Prefecture Welfare and Health Department take the numbers seriously. “Okinawa has aspired to become the place where people live the longest in the world, and we should take this result seriously,” an official said.

According to Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the rising rate of life expectancy in Okinawa has been lower than national average since 1985, and finally another prefecture has overtaken its place. One of the reasons is that the number of deaths by diseases associated with adult lifestyle habits is increasing in Okinawa, especially among 20 to 64-year-olds.

The Prefecture Welfare and Health Department pointed out the fact while announcing plans to promote steps against obesity and diseases associated with adult lifestyle habits especially in young age.

In the number one place for longest life expectancy for both women and men is Nagano Pprefecture where women are expected to live to 87.18 years old and men to 80.88. Men in Nagano Prefecture have kept the number one spot for cive consecutive years.

People living in Aomori Prefecture are holding the last place with women having a life expectancy of 85.34 years and men pass away at 77.28. The average of life expectancy in all Japan is 86.25 for women and 79.59 for men.

The good news is that men in all prefectures are living longer than five years ago, and women in all prefectures except Tottori have also a longer life expectancy than five years ago.

17:07 20 Oct , 2014

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