Gender life expectancy gap narrows globally

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  • 3 months ago

A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Alcalá in Spain suggests that the life expectancy gap between men and women worldwide is closing. Historically, women have outlived men, but changing lifestyles and improvements in healthcare may be contributing to this shift.

The researchers analyzed mortality data from 194 countries between 1990 and 2010 and divided them into five groups based on longevity trends. The group with the highest average life expectancy consisted of countries with higher incomes, such as Australia, Japan, the US, the UK, and parts of western Europe. The lowest life expectancies were found in Rwanda and Uganda.

The study found that the greatest increase in life expectancy occurred among men in Rwanda and Uganda, who saw their average life expectancy rise from 30.85 years in 1990 to 45.22 years in 2010. In comparison, women in these countries experienced a smaller increase of just 0.94 years. The researchers also observed similar trends in the other groups of countries.

In 1990, the average difference in life expectancy between men and women in the group with the highest life expectancies was 4.84 years, favoring women. By 2010, this gap had slightly decreased to 4.77 years. The researchers project that the gap will continue to close, reaching 3.4 years by 2030.

The study suggests that advancements in healthcare and decreased smoking and alcohol-related deaths, which disproportionately affect men, may be contributing factors to the narrowing life expectancy gap. However, the researchers note that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on overall life expectancies, including those of men, should be considered.

While the study only analyzed data up until 2010, the researchers believe that similar trends have likely continued in recent years. The findings align with global epidemiologic trends indicating a rise in life expectancy and a reduction in the gender gap over time.

Overall, this research provides valuable insights into the changing dynamics of life expectancy and highlights the importance of healthcare advancements and lifestyle factors in improving overall longevity.


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