The average life expectancy for Taiwanese would be raised by 3.9 years if malignant tumors were eliminated, according to statistics released by the Ministry of the Interior on Wednesday.
The average life expectancy of Taiwanese last year was 80.4 years, Department of Statistics Deputy-Director Cheng Min-lu (鄭敏祿) said.
Without cases of malignant tumors — the leading cause of death in the nation — that number would be 84.3, he said.
Without heart disease, which has been the second leading cause of death in the nation for 10 consecutive years, the average lifespan would be increased by 1.6 years, he said.
The number and proportion of deaths caused by pneumonia have been growing each year, and eliminating pneumonia would see Taiwanese live 0.9 years longer on average, he added.
The numbers show that improvements in the prevention and treatment of tumors could raise the average life expectancy, he said.
Limiting the consumption of red meat and doing more exercise could help lower the chances of developing these deadly diseases, he added.
Among the top 10 causes of death, malignant tumors, heart disease, pneumonia, cerebrovascular disease, accidents, chronic lower respiratory disease, and chronic liver disease and liver cirrhosis all have a greater effect on the average life expectancy of men than women, according to department statistics.
The reverse is true for diabetes, hypertension-related diseases, nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephropathy, the statistics showed.
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