Worldwide medical insurance customers might be intrigued to learn that life expectancy in Europe is on the rise.
This is in spite of the fact that obesity is reaching epidemic proportions, which experts had thought could shorten the lives of people in developed countries.
Professor David Leon, epidemiologist and population health expert at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, suggested that health has taken a turn for the better, despite the poor records of the past 40 years.
He added in an editorial in the International Journal of Epidemiology: "Despite what many may have assumed, and without being complacent, current trends in European life expectancy are in a positive direction.
"But while the European experience since 1980 underlines the centrality of the social, political and economic determinants of health, many intriguing and important questions remain unanswered about the drivers of these extraordinary trends."