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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Health Update

Air Date: Week of

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TOOMEY: You can eat your vegetables, get a good night's sleep, and refrain from smoking. But a healthy lifestyle doesn't guarantee you'll see your eighty-sixth birthday. When researchers analyzed death rates for a recent ten-year period in France, Japan, and the U.S., they found people living longer but the rise in life expectancy has slowed down. Even among Japanese women, the longest-lived group studied, the chance of achieving a life expectancy at birth of 90 years or more hasn't really changed over the past decade. Researchers say this isn't surprising, since life expectancy is difficult to increase once it approaches 80 years. In order for it to rise above 85, scientists must discover how to counteract the aging process itself. The authors conclude that industrialized society should start focusing on quality of life rather than length of life. That's this week's health update. I'm Diane Toomey.

CURWOOD: And you're listening to Living on Earth.

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