South Korea may become the first country where women’s life expectancy exceeds 90 years, according to a new study.
Other developed countries are not far behind; both French and Japanese women will also most likely live until they are 88 years old, according to the study published in the journal The Lancet.
– As recently as the turn of the century many scientists believed that life expectancy could never exceed 90 years, says the primary author of the study, professor at the Imperial College of London, Majid Ezzati.
Now he says he no longer believes there is an upper limit.
According to the study, a South Korean girl born in 2030 will probably reach the ripe old age of nearly 91 years old. A boy can expect to live to celebrate his 84th birthday, also the highest of the 35 industrialized countries studied.
Magic age is 84 for Men
Australia, Iceland and Switzerland also have a predicted life expectancy of 84 years for men.
50 years ago South Korea was a very poor country. But the country has experienced a rapid economic development, and the study shows that life expectancy has increased faster in South Korea than in other countries.
Ezzati points to a strong economic growth combined with infant nutrition, access to health services and modern technology as major causes of the high life expectancy for South Koreans. In addition, the low proportion of obesity and that very few women smoke are beneficiary factors.
Lowest in the US
The study also shows that the United States in 2030 most likely is going to have the lowest life expectancy of the 35 countries surveyed. With 83 years for women and less than 80 years for men, the US will be on par with middle-income countries such as Mexico and Croatia.
Of the 35 surveyed countries, the US has the highest child and maternal mortality, homicide rate and obesity. The US is also the only country without a public health service for all citizens, which is considered a key factor in reducing mortality.
The OECD’s 35 member countries are included in the survey – the United States, Canada and most European countries, Japan, South Korea and other developed East Asian countries as well as Mexico and Chile. Life expectancy is expected to increase in all of these countries.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today