BRITAIN is experiencing one of the sharpest slowdowns in life expectancy among developed nations, a study shows.

Only Iceland had a worse drop-off in improvements, according to the analysis of 22 high-income countries.

 Britain is experiencing one of the sharpest slowdowns in life expectancy among developed nations, research reveals
Britain is experiencing one of the sharpest slowdowns in life expectancy among developed nations, research revealsCredit: Alamy

It found boys born in England and Wales in 2016 are expected to reach 79.4 years and girls 83.

But those figures were barely up on those born five years earlier — by only 0.4 years for males and 0.1 for females.

Nearly all other developed nations saw a much bigger rise, with life expectancy for men in Norway and women in Luxembourg jumping 1.6 years in the same period.

Japan saw a 1.56 rise in males and 1.28 in females.

Experts suggest the poor outcomes for Brits may be due to the rise in deaths among working-age people — with suicide, violence, booze and drugs all possible contributors.

The number of 25 to 50-year-olds dying here is 40 per cent higher than in the other countries. Until 2000, our mortality rates were similar.

Lead author Prof David Leon, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said austerity and social care cuts may be factors.

He said: “We don’t know why England and Wales are doing so badly. We have certainly not reached the ‘ceiling’ of life expectancy and there’s still huge opportunity to extend it.

“What is novel is that death rates in working-age people are much higher than in comparable nations.”

He also said obesity is fuelling the slowdown and up to two years could be added if we all slimmed.

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