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Spain Ekes Out Win Over Italy As World's Healthiest Nation

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A recent survey of 169 economies has declared Spain as the healthiest country in the world, surpassing previous title-holder Italy that dropped to second place.

Spain received a score of 92.8 out of 100 from the Bloomberg 2019 Healthiest Country Index, which considered several variables that contribute to overall health. Meanwhile, Italy received a score of 91.6.

Four other European countries, such as Iceland (third), Switzerland (fifth), Sweden (sixth), and Norway (ninth) joined the Top 10. Japan, which went up to fourth place with a score of 91.4, is the healthiest country in Asia. Australia (seventh), Singapore (eighth), and Israel (tenth) complete the Top 10 list.

The Healthiest Countries In The World

The Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index is based on variables such as life expectancy, leading causes of death, environmental factors, such as access to clean water and sanitation, and health risks, including the rate of tobacco use, malnutrition, and obesity.

Spain currently has the highest life expectancy at birth among countries in the European Union. A previous study estimates that by 2040, Spain will have the highest life span in the world at 85.8 years old.

The European Observatory on Health System and Policies 2018 review of Spain noted a decline of cardiovascular diseases and cancer deaths in the country.

"Overall health status has improved in the last decade, inequalities in self-reported health related to income or educational attainment have decreased over the last 10 years and cardiovascular risk factors have stabilized," the report reads.

Researchers have also commented that the eating habits enjoyed by Spain and Italy might have contributed to their high ranking. The Mediterranean diet, which is high in healthy fats and whole grains, is associated with a reduced risk of major cardiovascular events. The Mediterranean diet is voted the best diet for 2019.

United States Ranking Drops

The United States, meanwhile, experienced a slight decline, dropping to 35th with a score of 73. For comparison, the 2017 survey placed the United States at 34th spot with a score of 73.05.

The life expectancy in the United States has been trending lower due to the deaths attributed to drug overdose and suicide. By 2040, an average American can expect to live until 79.8 years old.

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