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SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY

Record Life Expectancy Still Lags

from USA Today

U.S. life expectancy has reached 78 years, a record high driven by declines in all but one of the major causes of death, the government reported Wednesday.

Despite the good news, the USA ranks 29th in life expectancy among the United Nations' member nations. Tops is Andorra, which has an average life expectancy of 83, followed closely by Japan, Sweden, Australia and Switzerland.

"We're two to three years behind most Western countries at this point," says University of Pennsylvania demographer Samuel Preston, a member of a National Academy of Sciences panel that convened for the first time last week to try to explain the lag.

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