Congratulations gentlemen, all your efforts of living a healthier lifestyle are starting to pay off. According to a report from Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, the life expectancy for U.S. males grew by 4.6 years.
This increase has narrowed the gender gap from seven years back in 1989 down to five years, one month and six days. This means that today’s men will live to be an average age of 76.2, while a woman’s average lifespan (which rose by 2.7 years) will be 81.3.
Dr. Ali Mokdad, professor of global health at the IHME, part of the University of Washington, told MSNBC one of the reasons they may be catching up is because when it comes to cardiovascular disease, “men are tending to be more vigilant than women.”
When it comes to cardiovascular disease, it is the number one killer for women. It is often unrecognized and untreated in women, according to the American Heart Association. Mokdad told MSNBC, “In this country, we haven’t done a good job of raising awareness for women about the risk factors for cardiovascular disease.”
Other reasons why men are living longer? It may be that men are smoking less than past generations as well as exercising more and this prevents obesity, which is more likely for women.
“The whole (local) culture has changed,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, New York City’s health commissioner and a marathon runner, to MSNBC, “Smoking used to be seen as cool and hip –- now it’s the opposite. Exercising and eating healthy (once were deemed) things only strange people did. Now they’re mainstream.”
Certain places in the U.S. have higher averages than other areas for life expectancy. Men living in Marin County, Calif., near San Francisco, (where men have the longest life expectancy in this country, 81.6 years), and in New York City where, since 1989, the average male lifetime has increased by 13.6 years (to 79), the IHME reports.
Even though the ages for both U.S. men and women have raised, they are still lagging compared to other countries. Infants born this year in the United States will have an average life expectancy of 78.9 years, according to a United Nations study, versus babies born in Japan (83.5), Switzerland (82.3) and Spain (81.5).
When it comes to the gender gap, you have to wonder if men will ever be even with women. Through out history, women have always lived longer then males because men have a higher collective risk of hear disease and of being killed in road accidents, stats show.