independent.ie/Women are losing long life advantage over men – study

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SHAFAQNA – WOMEN are losing the ability to outlive men because of the pressure of juggling full-time work and family. An analysis of mortality rates over the past 50 years shows how men are rapidly narrowing the gap on women in longevity. The shift has been attributed to changes in men’s working environments, particularly the decline of heavy industry and mining, and falling smoking rates. The study, which compares death figures from 1963 and 2013, also recognises the effect of the transformation of women’s lives over the past half-century.

It concludes that while men have become healthier, women’s longevity might have been held back by workplace stress and associated smoking and drinking that was previously more commonly associated with men.

Overall, it shows that mortality rates – the number of deaths for every 1,000 people in a particular group – have improved for both men and women. It singles out improvements in combating circulatory diseases such as heart disease and strokes, partly because of lower smoking rates, and medical advances such as the introduction of statins.

Although both sexes are living longer and women still outlive men, the gap is narrowing. The age group in which men are statistically most likely to die has jumped by 15 years in the last half century, but the peak for female deaths is largely unchanged, according to the study published by Britain’s Office for National Statistics. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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