Men could live as long as women in just two generations as life expectancy gaps closesfrom here
While a typical baby boy born in 2009 can expect to live to 77 - a baby girl will outlive him by an average of five years.
But according to a new study, the life expectancy gender gap is closing and could have vanished for good within just two generations.
Researchers say that if improvements in health and lifestyle continue at their current pace, husbands will start to live as along as their wives by 2035.
The prediction comes from American government statisticians investigating the shrinking life expectancy gap between males and females.
“Men born in 2006 could expect to live 3.6 years longer, and women 1.9 years longer, than those born in 1990,” a spokesman for the institute said.
The US report found that male life expectancy for babies born in 2006 was 78.1. For boys the figure was 75.1 and for girls it was 80.9.
Although the figures are based on Americans, researchers say they apply to other western countries such as Britain.
The findings are backed up by research from the UK the Office for National Statistics. Its most recent report into life expectancy found that women over 65 outnumber men by three to two - but by 2032 the gap will have almost disappeared.
The average British woman born in 2006 is likely to live 2.7 years longer than one born in 1992 while men can expect to live 3.8 years longer, it reported last year.
Prof Tony Warnes, of the Sheffield Institute for Studies on Aging, said changes in smoking habits played a big part in the narrowing the gender gap.
"Men have reduced their smoking a lot and women, particularly young women, have been more resistant," he said.
According to official Government figures, 10 per cent of teenage girls under 16 smoke, compared with seven per cent of boys.
Lung cancer rates are falling among men but rising steadily among women.
Prof Warnes believes men are benefitting more from some life extending medical advances - including heart treatments.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Age gap closing...
The question is are men living healthier, or women more unhealthy?