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Italians ''healthiest in world' - survey (2)

'Despite economic difficulties' says Bloomberg index

Italians ''healthiest in world' - survey (2)

Rome, March 20 - Italy has the healthiest people in the world despite a "difficult" economic situation, according to the 163-country 'Bloomberg Global Health Index, out Monday. A child born in Italy has a life expectancy of 80 years compared to 52 years in countries like Sierra Leone, the index said. behind Italy in the rankings came Iceland, Switzerland, Singapore and Australia, while the United States was in 34th place. Much of the secret of Italians' health lies in their world-famous Mediterranean diet, the survey said. Despite stagnant growth and high unemployment, Bloomberg said, Italians are much healthier than Canadians, Americans and Britons, who have higher blood pressure and colesterol as well as more psychiatric problems. Italy has "an excess of doctors," the survey added. Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin said diet, lifestyles and the national health service played a part in Italy's top position.

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