Japan Tops Life-Expectancy List

Sierra Leone, Afghanistan fall at bottom
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted May 21, 2009 10:55 AM CDT
Lifespans have shortened in Afghanistan, where the ongoing conflict is claiming many lives.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Health initiatives and wars have flipped some of the world's life expectancies since 1990, the World Heath Organization said today. Some findings, via AP:

  • Japanese women, at 86, and San Marino men, 81, enjoy the longest life expectancies.
  • Sierra Leone men, 39, at Afghan women, 42, have the shortest.
  • In the US, men gained 4 years, women 2.

  • Eritrea increased lifespans by 18 years for men, 12 for women.
  • Other countries that improved by at least 10 years include: Liberia, Angola, Bangladesh, Maldives, Niger, and East Timor.
  • Life expectancy fell the most in Zimbabwe, where women lost 19 years and men 12.
  • Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, Congo, Kenya, South Africa, and Zambia also saw steep declines.

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