Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Life Expectancy Gap Grew in 2016

In the United States, women live longer than men. But the female advantage has been shrinking for decades—until now. In 2016 the life expectancy gap between females and males widened for the first time since 1990, according to the National Center for Health Statistics report, Deaths: Final Data for 2016, increasing from 4.8 to 5.0 years between 2015 and 2016. Here is the trend since 1950...

Gap in female-male life expectancy
2016: 5.0 years (first increase since 1989-90)
2015: 4.8 years
2010: 4.8 years
2000: 5.2 years
1990: 7.0 years
1980: 7.4 years
1979: 7.8 years (biggest gap)
1970: 7.6 years
1960: 6.5 years
1950: 5.5 years

Since 1950, the life expectancy of both males and females has increased substantially—rising from 65.6 to 76.1 years (+10.5 years) for males, and from 71.1 to 81.1 years (+10.0 years) for females. During those years, the female-male life expectancy gap grew from 5.5 years in 1950 to a peak of 7.8 years in 1979. The gap then began to shrink, falling to 4.8 years from 2010 through 2015.

Behind the 1950-to-1979 increase in the female-male life expectancy gap were higher rates of smoking and heart disease among men. As smoking rates fell and heart disease was better controlled, the life expectancy gap began to decline. The decline has come to a halt, at least temporarily, as male mortality rates rise faster than female for some causes of death. One of those causes is drug-induced deaths. Between 2015 and 2016, the drug-induced mortality rate of males climbed 26.0 percent. The female rate increased by a smaller 13.6 percent.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Mortality Data

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