Life expectancy in humans is expected to break the 90-years-old barrier for the first time in 2030.
New research has found that humans are living longer due to changing lifestyles and advances in medical science.
The study, led by Imperial College London in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, found that South Koreans could have the highest life expectancy in the world come 2030.
The team predicted a baby girl born in South Korea in that year can expect to live until she is 90.8 years old, and a boy 84.1.
Lead researcher Professor Majid Ezzati said: “Many people used to believe that 90 years is the upper limit for life expectancy, but this research suggests we will break the 90-year-barrier.
“I don’t believe we’re anywhere near the upper limit of life expectancy – if there even is one.”
The study, published in The Lancet and funded by the UK Medical Research Council, looked at 35 industrialised countries which had reliable data.
Professor Ezzati said that good childhood nutrition and access to healthcare, coupled with low blood pressure and levels of smoking, may be part of what contributes to South Korea’s high life expectancy.
Researchers also found that British men born in 2030 could close the life expectancy gap on women as lifestyles improve.
British men born in 2030 are expected to live until they are 82.5 years old, and women until 85.3 – a gap of 2.8 years.
This is down from a gap of four years for Britons born in 2010 – men born at the start of the decade are expected to live until 78.3 and women until 82.3.
Professor Ezzati said: “Men traditionally had unhealthier lifestyles, and so shorter life expectancies.
“They smoked and drank more, and had more road traffic accidents and homicides.
“However, as lifestyles become more similar between men and women, so does their longevity.”
The study included high income countries such as the USA, Canada and Germany, and emerging economies such as Poland and the Czech Republic.
When the 35 countries were ranked by life expectancy at 2030, Britain’s men placed 14th, with women 21st.
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