All Posts tagged gender longevity gap

Men Gaining Ground in Gender Longevity Gap

In the United States the life expectancy of women is still greater than that of men. But the gap between the genders has shrunk markedly in the 20 years covered by a study performed by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

This study’s data indicated that between 1989 and 2009, men’s average life expectancy improved by more than four and a half years, to age 76.2. The average life expectancy for women also improved, but by only about half as much, to age 81.3. So women’s advantage in the gender longevity gap has shrunk during that period from 7.0 to 5.1 years.

There are many influential factors, but if this rate were to remain constant, men would have the longevity advantage in a little more than 54 years–in the year 2068.

According to Boston University’s New England Centenarian Study, there are three behaviors men typically have engaged in more consistently than women. These behaviors are indulging in smoking, high-cholesterol foods, and internalizing stress. This study demonstrated a correlation between a reduction in these habits and an increased life expectancy.

The IHME study indicated that men on average have adopted healthier habits and are less obese, as well as more likely to do two very important things:  Exercise and treat cardiovascular disease indications. During the same 20 year period of the study, the number one cause of death for women became cardiovascular disease.

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