Between 1990 and 2013, life expectancy at birth increased from 57.3 years to 64.2 years for males and from 58.2 years to 68.5 years for females."It is very encouraging that adults and children in the country are living healthier lives. But India's growing influence on global health means we must do more to address the diseases that kill people prematurely," said Jeemon Panniyammakal of the Public Health Foundation of India and a co-author of the study.

Published in the prestigious journal The Lancet, the findings showed that countries have made great strides in reducing mortality from diseases such as measles and diarrhoea, with 83 percent and 51 percent reductions, respectively, from 1990 to 2013. "People are living much longer worldwide than they were two decades ago as death rates from infectious diseases and cardiovascular disease have fallen," it added. Globally, three conditions - ischemic heart disease, stroke, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) - claimed the most lives in 2013, accounting for nearly 32 percent of all deaths.

Causes of death vary widely by country but at the global level, drug use disorders and chronic kidney disease account for some of the largest percent increases in premature deaths since 1990.Death rates from some cancers, including pancreatic cancer and kidney cancer, also increased, said the study led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.

"People today are less likely than their parents to die from certain conditions, but there are more people of older ages throughout the world," said IHME director Christopher Murray.

Global life expectancy for both sexes increased from 65.3 years in 1990 to 71.5 years in 2013 and women made slightly greater gains than men. Female life expectancy at birth increased by 6.6 years and male life expectancy by 5.8 years. If trends seen over the past 23 years hold, by 2030, global female life expectancy will be 85.3 years and male life expectancy will be 78.1 years.

"This is an encouraging trend as people are living longer. We just need to make sure we are making the right health policy decisions today to prepare for the health challenges and associated costs that are coming," Murray added.

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