Life in Zimbabwe is shorter than anywhere else in the world, with neither men nor women expected to live until 40, a new UN report says.
According to the BBC's Africa editor, David Bamford, the latest figures are extraordinary for a country like Zimbabwe, which until 20 years ago, had a relatively high standard of living for Africa.
The HIV/Aids epidemic sweeping across southern Africa cannot alone be blamed for this - especially as recent figures show a slight drop in HIV infection rates in Zimbabwe.
Our correspondent says the key reason behind the drop in Zimbabwe's average life expectancy is the fall in the standard of living, triggered by an economic crisis.
Zimbabwe's economy has shrunk by an estimated 40% in the last seven years under President Robert Mugabe.