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Earthquake cuts Japan life expectancy

July 27, 2012 at 1:28 PM   |   Comments

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TOKYO, July 27 (UPI) -- The death toll from last year's earthquake and tsunami was high enough to reduce average life expectancy in Japan, officials say.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare reported men on average lived to be 79.44 in 2011, down 0.11 years from 2010, Kyodo News Service reported. The life expectancy for women was 85.9 years, down 0.40 years from 2010.

Japanese women, for the first time in 26 years, were not the most long-lived in the world. Women in Hong Kong, with an average life expectancy of 86.7 years, were in first place.

Hong Kong also had the longest-lived men at 80.5 years, followed by Switzerland and Iceland. Japan was in eighth place, as it was in 2010.

The earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 is believed to have killed 18,000 people. The ministry said suicide also rose among women last year while continuing to decline among men, with the biggest increase among women in their late 20s.

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