Life expectancy in Israel has gone up significantly within a decade, according to a report released by the Central Bureau of Statistics. In 2011, Israeli men lived 2.6 years longer than in 2001, while Israeli women lived 2.4 years longer.
The report reveals that men live an average of 79.9 years while women live 83.6 years. Since 1975, when only one-third of men and 43% of women reached the age of 80. Life expectancy in Israel has increased by 8.6 years for men and 8.9 years for women. Today, 59% of men and 72% of women become octogenarians.
Cancer is the most lethal disease in Israel and is responsible for more than one-quarter of death cases, 26.3% today compared to 16.9% in the 1970s. Heart diseases account for 16.3% of deaths, while in the 1970s they accounted for 29.9% of deaths.
Diabetes and strokes are responsible for 5.8% of death cases each. While with diabetes there has been a significant rise in death cases since the 1970s, when the disease accounted for only 1% of deaths, with strokes there has been a significant decline from 12.4% in the 1970s.
Since the 1970s, there has been a step drop in infant mortality in Israel. The figure has fallen from 22.9 deaths per 1,000 births in 1975 to 3.5 deaths per 1,000 births. Among Arabs, however, the infant mortality rate is significantly higher than among Jews – 6.1 compared to 2.6.
The CBS report also notes a positive drop in teenage pregnancies. While in 2000, there were 17.1 births per 1,000 teenage girls, today there are 13 births per 1,000 girls – a 24% decline (a 20% drop among Jewish girls and a 39% drop among Arab girls).
"The drop in mortality from heart diseases is a worldwide finding stemming from a successful combination of improvements in heart surgery and cardiology treatments, as well as doctors' courage to deal with more difficult patients who they would have given up on in the past, while today operating on elderly people has become quite a routine," says Prof. Jacob Lavee, deputy director of the Department of Cardiac Surgery at the Sheba Medical Center.