The "State of the Tropics" study
, run by 13 institutions across 12 countries, reported that people living in the world's tropical zones in 2010 had an average life expectancy of 64.4 years. This was 7.7 years less than those living in non-tropical areas, according to the broad-ranging research project, which was initiated by Australia's James Cook University (JCU). Overall mortality in the region was affected by disease, conflict, poverty and food insecurity, the study said. Investment in social services, such as health and education, as well as access to water, sanitation and medical technology, were also important factors.