Healthy life expectancy on the increase in Switzerland

Healthy life expectancy on the increase in Switzerland

Swiss pensioners: still out and about, long after retirement. Keystone / Oliver Lang

In the space of a decade, the “healthy” life expectancy rose by 2.1 years for men and 1.5 years for women, a study has found.

This content was published on February 22, 2023 – 11:41


The study looked at the period 2007-2017 and concluded that men who retire at 65 can still expect to live 16.2 years without disability or infirmity. For women the figure is 16 years.

The gains in life expectancy with good health outweighed the overall gains in general life expectancy, which increased by 1.3 years for men and 0.6 years for women over the same period, the Swiss Medical Weekly journal wrote on Tuesday.

Overall, men aged 65 can still expect to live 19.7 years, while women can expect 22.1 years.

+ More about Swiss centenarians and life expectancy

Thus while women live longer than men overall, they are also on average in poor health for longer, a fact which the authors said mirrored the results of other studies previously done across the world.

As for the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, its impact on general life expectancy was temporary, they said. “However, the impact on life expectancy without disability could be stronger, not only because of the functional decline of those infected, but also as a result of the lockdown, during which older people were less physically and socially active and thus accumulated risk factors for disability,” the authors wrote.

They said however it was difficult to predict whether this trend would continue in the future, or whether some sort of stability would be reached.

For the study, the researchers analyzed data from the Swiss Health Survey of the Federal Statistical Office (FSO) on the age- and gender-specific prevalence of mild and severe disability.

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