According to Prof Les Mayhew, from the Cass Business School in London, men in England and Wales will live as long as women by 2030, an average of 87 years. This would be due to lifestyle changes (primarily related to smoking habits) and medical advances (especially when it comes to heart diseases, more common among men).
Though this could not be applied to most countries, in nations such as Sweden the gap could be disappear by 2024. The researcher, however, started measuring life expectancy with people at 30; below this age, morality rates are still higher among boys, due to their involvement in dangerous sports or higher chances of dying during their first year of life.
‘What’s interesting at the moment is that in the last 20 years or so, male life expectancy at 30 has jumped by about six years and if it jumps by the same amount in the next 20 years it will converge with female life expectancy,’ said Mayhew. ‘One of the main reasons, I think, is the trend in the prevalence of smoking. Smoking took off after 1920 in the male population and at its high about 80% of males smoked’.
The findings, yet to be published by City University’s Cass Business School, don’t match with the official statistics from the UK Office for National Statistics predictions, which state that there will still be a gap of about three years and a half in 2030. Time will tell.