South Korea Leads List of Life Expectancy Gains

South Korea Leads List of Life Expectancy Gains

A new study (1)_________________ that South Korean women will be the first group in the world to have an average lifespan of more than 90 years.
Researchers at Imperial College London and the World Health Organization studied the lifespans of people in 35 (2)________________. Their findings suggest that by 2030 people will be living longer. It also says the gap between men and women could start to close in most countries.
South Koreans living the longest
Women are predicted to live longer lives than men in all countries. Behind South Korean women, women in France, Japan, Spain and Switzerland (3)________________, on average, to live to age 88.
The (4)_________________ of South Korean men is expected to increase, but only to about age 84. In Australia, Switzerland, Canada and the Netherlands, men also are expected to live to about 84 on average.
According to the study, (5)____________________ in South Korea was caused by decreases in deaths from infections and long-term diseases in children and adults. The study says gains in life expectancy are a result of (6)____________________ in South Korea.
These gains have led to (7)____________________, increased access to primary and secondary health care, and the development of new medical technologies. South Koreans also have a lower body-mass index and blood pressure than people in most western countries, and (8)______________in women.
The U.S. is behind other developed countries
While women and men in South Korea led the study, Americans continued to have one of the lower life expectancies (9)__________________.
Macedonia had the lowest life expectancy for women at nearly 78 years, and Serbia for men at about 73 years.
Men and women in the U.S. (10)_________________ life expectancies of 80 and 83 years, about the same as Mexico and Croatia.
The writers of the study said life expectancy increases were smaller partly because of a lack of (11)________________ in the United States. The study also said problems such as relatively high child and maternal (12)__________________, and high rates of homicide and obesity were to blame.
Changing expectations
Scientists once thought that a life expectancy beyond 90 years (13)__________________. However gains in medicine, combined with improved social programs, are helping people live longer lives.
(14)________________ are also happening in countries where people already live a long time, according to the study's lead researcher, Majid Ezzati of Imperial College London.
"I (15)_______________ there is a limit, but we are still very far from it,'' he said. Ezzati estimated that people would eventually survive on average to at least 110 or 120 years.
The study says that obesity, tobacco use and (16)________________ use are the leading causes of death in adults. However, having an (17)____________________ system is important for a country to improve life expectancy. The survey noted the good effects of having universal health-care coverage.
The study said that, with longer life expectancy, there will also be new pressures on health and (18)_________________. The number of people needing long-term care in their old age will increase, which will put stress on (19)_________________ giving this care. The study suggests that either more facilities will need to be built, or health care may need to be provided at home.
There will also be (20)__________________ on pensions and social security. These are programs that provide money to people after they retire from work.
With people living longer, they will require (21)_______________ or social security payments than earlier generations. The study suggests that either (22)___________________ age will need to be increased or plans will need to put in place to transition workers to retirement at a later age.
I’m Phil Dierking
This story was originally written for VOAnews.com by Smita Nordwell. Phil Dierking adapted this story for Learning. Mario Ritter was the editor.
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Words in This Story

body-mass index – n. a weight-to-height ratio, calculated by dividing one's weight in kilograms by the square of one's height in meters and used as an indicator of obesity and underweight.
homiciden. the act of killing another person
industrialize – v. to develop industries in a country or region on a wide scale.
lifespan – n. the length of time for which a person or animal lives
life expectancy – n. the average period that a person may expect to live.
mortalityn. the death of a person, animal, etc.
nutrition n. the process of eating the right kind of food so you can grow properly and be healthy
obesity – n. the problem of being overweight in a way that is unhealthy

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