WHO: Infant deaths fall, life expectancy rises

May 13, 2011 20:56

GENEVA - Infant deaths fell across the world during the first decade of the century, dropping twice as fast as they did in the 1990s, partly thanks to higher spending, the World Health Organization said on Friday.

The health body said there had been an equally impressive rate of decline in the number of women dying from complications in pregnancy and childbirth -- and a rise in the average life expectancy to 68 years in 2009, up from 64 years in 1990.

But the world's health services were still weighed down with the "double burden" of infectious ailments and lifestyle diseases, like heart conditions, it added in its latest annual World Health Statistics Report.

"Much more has been done after the year 2000 and it's paying off," the WHO's health statistics director Ties Boerma told reporters.

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