By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Researchers studying why Americans have shorter lives and poorer health than residents of other developed nations found several areas where the U.S. lags. The panel reviewed an array of existing studies to reach its conclusions.

_ Infant mortality and low birth-weight babies. The rate of premature babies in the United States, at 12 percent, is comparable to that of sub-Saharan Africa.

_Adolescent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. The U.S. pregnancy rate for girls aged 15-19 was more than three times greater than the average of other countries.

_ HIV and AIDS. The incidence of AIDS in the United States at 122 per million is almost nine times the average of 14 per million in countries that are part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

_ Drug-related deaths. Americans are less likely to smoke and may drink less heavily than their counterparts in other countries. However, they abuse more prescription and illicit drugs.

_ Obesity and diabetes. Americans consumed an average of 3,770 calories per day,a higher average than in any other country.

_ Heart disease. Deaths from heart disease stood at 129 per 100,000, higher than 15 other peer countries. Only Finland was higher.

_ Injuries and homicide. Deaths from motor vehicle crashes, non-transportation-related injuries, and violence occur at much higher rates in the United States than in other countries and are a leading cause of death in children, adolescents, and young adults.