Average life expectancy in developed countries would exceed 90 years by the year 2030, according to a study published in The Lancet.
If this happened, it would be the first instance of many countries witnessing the increase in life expectancy, with South Korea likely to top the list. The US would however, be among the lowest in developed countries, on the score.
Majid Ezzati, the study's lead researcher and a professor at Imperial College London`s school of public health said, ''The fact that we will continue to live longer means we need to think about strengthening the health and social care systems to support an ageing population with multiple health needs,'' Reuters reported.
The study, which was led by Imperial scientists in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, found that among high-income countries, the US would likely have the lowest life expectancy in 2030, with men and women expecting to live 79.5 and 83.3 years respectively – similar to middle-income countries like Croatia and Mexico.
Lack of universal healthcare in the US and factors such as relatively high child and maternal mortality rates as also high rates of homicides and obesity were responsible for the relatively lower life expectancy the report said.
"For men, South Korea, Australia, and Switzerland have highly overlapping distributions of projected life expectancy and hence similar probabilities of occupying the top three ranks," the study revealed.
South Korean women born in 2030 were also expected to live the longest, to 90.82 on average, which was the first time that a life expectancy had passed 90, according to the study's authors.
"As recently as the turn of the century, many researchers believed that life expectancy would never surpass 90 years," said Ezzati, The Southland Times reported.
"Our predictions of increasing lifespans highlight our public health and healthcare successes. However, it is important that policies to support the growing older population are in place."