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Life expectancy improves for men as they live healthier lifestyles

Published on 24/04/2012

Plummeting smoking rates and improved heart disease treatment means that the gap between male and female life expectancy is closing, according to an adviser for the Office of National Statistics.

Professor Mayhew, a professor of statistics at Cass Business School, analysed life expectancy data in England and Wales to work out how long 30 year olds could expect to live.

Life expectancy is increasing for both genders, but the rates for men are increasing faster. If trends continue, Professor Mayhew predicts both sexes could be living to an average age of 87 in 2030.

Men have had a lower life expectancy for decades. The difference between the sexes peaked at nearly six years in the 1970s.

The change is attributed to the falling smoking rates in men- rates of lung cancer are still increasing in women but plummeting in women.

According to experts, women's bodies sustain more damage from smoking, drinking and extra weight so while statistics suggest men have become healthier, women's health has deteriorated. Professor David Leon, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said:

"Men are getting a bit better behaved and women are adopting male life expectancies."

Another reason for the increase in life expectancy is the prevalence of safer, more office based jobs. Millions of men used to work in hazardous occupations such as coal mining.

Improvements in treatment of heart disease have also had a greater impact on the male population because men are disproportionally affected by the condition.

Professor Mayhew says a similar trend can be seen in France and in Sweden.

Your gender will not have an effect on your private medical insurance premiums, so compare health insurance quotes online now.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

Categories:  Health
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