Professor Tony Blakely and Professor Alistair Woodward
The fact we are living longer is well-known, as witnessed by discussions such as those around the retirement age and superannuation policy. But few are aware just how dramatic the changes in cause-specific mortality have been in the last century. We are publishing a book later this year (The Healthy Country? A History of Life and Death in New Zealand; AUP) that looks in depth at the fascinating story of mortality decline in New Zealand. The path to low mortality that this country followed was unique in many ways. For example, did you know that New Zealand (non-Māori) had the highest life expectancy in the world from 1870 to 1940? Or that life expectancy for Māori rose by 20 or more years between 1900 and 1950? To find out more, read the book! In this blog we whet your appetite by looking at some data just released by the Ministry of Health on trends since 1945 in cause-specific mortality.
Alistair Woodward and Tony Blakely are publishing a book The Healthy Country? A History of Life and Death in New Zealand in October this year. Here they blog about recent Ministry data on falling mortality rates
Associate Professor Nick Wilson
There is no doubt that NZ needs to keep addressing ethnic inequalities in health as an important priority. Nevertheless, gender inequalities may also be worth some consideration given that NZ men have lower life expectancy than women by four years. This blog summarises key data and considers the major risk factors determining poorer male health. It then discusses if there is a plausible case for shifting more of the available health resources towards improving male health.
Figure: Years of life lived in good and poor health (based on data in: Ministry of Health 2013)
Assoc Prof Nick Wilson and Dr Nisha Nair
NZ compares favourably with other OECD countries in many ways – according to the just released results of the OECD’s “Better Life Index”. This blog considers some of the details and also various ways we could make further improvements in health, safety and the environment.