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People in Malta are ‘living longer than ever’

People in Malta can expect to live to a ripe old age, according to a health study by the European Commission.

It said that the average person in Malta can expect to live until they are at least 82 years old – three years more than in 2000.

The Maltese life expectancy figure is also higher than the European average which is slightly less than 81 years of age.

Not only do Maltese men and women live longer, they also enjoy close to 90 per cent of their lives in good health, longer than in any other EU country.

Spain came top of the life expectancy league, followed by Italy in second place with Malta third.

The study found pensioners in northern Spain and north eastern Italy live the longest thanks mainly to their Mediterranean diet.

Comparably, those in Britain, the Netherlands and Scandinavia tend to die younger than in Malta.

However, poverty, high fat diets, smoking, drinking and unhealthy lifestyles all take their toll in pushing pensioners to an early grave, the researchers said.

European health commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis said: ‘While the life expectancy in the EU is among the highest in the world, we shouldn’t rest on our laurels.

‘Many lives could be saved by increasing our efforts to promote healthy lifestyles and tackle risk factors such as tobacco or lack of physical activity.

‘It is unacceptable that every year in the EU we are losing more than 1.2 million people prematurely when this could be avoided through better disease prevention and more effective health care interventions.’

The figures were published in the latest European Commission State of Health Report.