Japan Tops Life-Expectancy List

Sierra Leone, Afghanistan fall at bottom
By A Ali,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2009 10:55 AM CDT
Japan Tops Life-Expectancy List
Lifespans have shortened in Afghanistan, where the ongoing conflict is claiming many lives.   (AP Photo)

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.
(More World Health Organization stories.)

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