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Holistic Health Current Event

0 March 07 2018, 14:08 in Health and Nutrition Essays


The article, "This urban population is leading the world in life expectancy” (Senthilingam, 2018) talks about Hong Kong being an urban health oasis. Over the past 46 years, life expectancies for both sexes in the city have increased until it topped global rankings in 2016. Life expectancy in Hong Kong is 81.3 years for men and 87.3 years for women. The article cites the possible reasons: easy access to everything, greener environment, good hospitals and health services, physically fit population, good weather, Mediterranean diet, and value of family. The article also points out that Hong Kong is yet to improve in terms of the social elements of the Global AgeWatch index such as mental health and income security. Studying the case of Hong Kong is needed to derive useful insights for managing universal health care in other countries.


Why interesting and important

This article by Senthilingam (2018) is interesting because Hong Kong is not a city to be expected when it comes to discussing longer life expectancy. As described in the article, "Skyscrapers for as far as you can see, people walking around from all angels on densely packed streets… this is life with more than 7million people living on a little over 420 square miles of land.” This is a description of a city not where we expect to see people living long and peaceful lives—making it an interesting read from the beginning.

However, the article is also important because life expectancy in some countries, including the United States have fallen despite the supposed improvements in health and healthcare technologies. The article and the study of life expectancy in Hong Kong can lead to useful findings for holistic health including alternative health care. For example, it is considered that close familial networks in Asian cultures and philosophy of piety or virtue of having utmost respect to the elderly have pivotal impact to the happiness of older people which may also contribute to achieving long life ((Senthilingam, 2018). Thus, the article is important because it is timely and may have new contributions towards understanding holistic health.

Interest groups and their perspectives

There are various interest groups that may have something to say about the topics presented in the article. For example, one of the possible reasons cited for the people living in Hong Kong to have longer life is that is that the city is "greener than most.” Despite the city’s dense population, it has many green spaces wherein the elderly can do tai chi or qi gong calisthenics and socialize with other people. Hence, environmentalists can push through their advocacy by pointing out longer life expectancy as yet another rationale. Healthcare politics also matter. Hong Kong has universal health care for hospital treatment. In the city, nobody is to be defined by adequate medical care due to lack of financial means. Medication is free and paid by taxation. However, like many countries in the world, Hong Kong does not have universal care in terms of primary health.

Implications to the Delivery System

The article has important implications to the delivery systems. For one, it highlights the importance of holistic health that includes greener environment, easy access to social services, family life, healthy diet and good weather. It also reiterates the importance of natural remedy such as spending quality time with family and maintaining active leisure such as tai chi and qi gong. Finally, ensuring that people can get adequate health and medical care regardless of their socio-economic condition has great impacts on ensuring longer life for the people. While each of the factors mentioned in the article cannot be considered as main driver for longer life expectancy; altogether, they can lead to longer and happier life.


Senthilingam, M. (3 March 2018). This urban population is leading the world in life expectancy.

CNN Health, Retrieved from world-longest-life-expectancy-longevity-intl/index.html.



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