US to have lowest life expectancy among developed countries by 2030, study finds

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By 2030, the United States may have the lowest average life expectancy of any developed country in the world, according to a new study published Wednesday in The Lancet.

The international study was done in conjunction with researchers at the Imperial College London's school of public health and the World Health Organization. For the study, researchers used a set of 21 forecasting models to project age-specific mortality figures in 2030 for 35 industrialized countries.

Here are four study findings.

1. Projections showed South Koreans will likely have the highest life expectancy in the world by 2030, with women expected to live 90.8 years and men expected to 84.1 years.

2. Researchers cite several factors influencing South Korea's high life expectancy projection, including good childhood nutrition, low levels of smoking and good access to healthcare.

3. Americans will likely have the lowest average life expectancy in the world, with women living 79.5 years and men living 83.3 years.

4. Researchers cited the U.S.'s lack of universal healthcare, relatively high child and maternal mortality rates and high rates of homicides and obesity as contributing factors to the low life expectancy projection.

"Many people used to believe that 90 years is the upper limit for life expectancy, but this research suggests we will break the 90-year-barrier," Majid Ezzati, the study's lead researcher and a professor at Imperial College London's school of public health told Reuters. "We repeatedly hear that improvements in human longevity are about to come to an end … I don't believe we're anywhere near the upper limit of life expectancy — if there even is one."

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