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N Engl J Med. 2005 Mar 17;352(11):1138-45.

A potential decline in life expectancy in the United States in the 21st century.

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University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago 60612, USA.


Forecasts of life expectancy are an important component of public policy that influence age-based entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare. Although the Social Security Administration recently raised its estimates of how long Americans are going to live in the 21st century, current trends in obesity in the United States suggest that these estimates may not be accurate. From our analysis of the effect of obesity on longevity, we conclude that the steady rise in life expectancy during the past two centuries may soon come to an end.

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