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Healthy lifestyles extend lives of Taipei residents, Wen says

Healthy lifestyles extend lives of Taipei residents, Wen says

Taipei City residents live longer than others in the country because of their healthier lifestyle, but the national health insurance program has increased life expectancy in all parts of the country, a researcher at the non-profit National Health Research Institute said yesterday.
Reporting the results of a study comparing life expectancies in 365 villages and townships around Taiwan 10 years before the program in 1995 and 10 years after it was launched, Wen Chi-pang (·?"‥1) said the life expectancy of Taipei City citizens had risen to 81.21 years, from 76.89 years in 1985.
The life expectancy of all Taiwan residents had also been extended over that time, gaining an average of 2.39 years for men and 2.78 years for women, in part because of the national health insurance program, but Wen said stark regional differences remained.
The difference in life expectancy for Taipei City and Taitung County residents was still more than 10 years, even though the gap had been narrowed slightly to 10.03 years from 10.65 years a decade before the program was implemented.
"The study showed that the least healthy residents could not make use of the national health insurance program to narrow the gap in life expectancy between them and their healthier counterparts," Wen said.
Medical resources can only contribute 10 percent to the life expectancy of the public, while poor habits affect 60 percent of one's health, Wen said, with smoking and betel nut chewing typical examples.
Based on the study's findings, Wen suggested that the insurance program focus not only on "treating disease," but also on spending more time and funding to help people "not get sick," saying such a strategy would truly promote national health and avoid the squandering of medical resources.


Updated : 2021-03-09 03:28 GMT+08:00