Life expectancy increasing for men
In the battle of the sexes, life expectancy is one area where women are still ahead of the game.
At the moment women are outliving men by 5 years but according to a new study, the life expectancy gender gap is closing and could have vanished for good within just two generations.
Researchers say that if improvements in health and lifestyle continue at their current pace, husbands will start to live as long as their wives by 2035.
That year will also mark the start of the first generation who can expect to live into their late 80s – far longer than the traditional three score years and 10.
The prediction comes from American government statisticians investigating the shrinking life expectancy gap between males and females.
Historically men have died earlier than woman. Men have tended to do more dangerous jobs – as miners, soldiers or deep sea fisherman – and have been reluctant to adapt to healthier lifestyles.
However, the latest statistics from the Atlanta-based Centres for Disease Control and Prevention found that the gap is shrinking quickly.
Although the figures are based on Americans, researchers say they apply to other western countries such as Britain.
The downturn is that this will come at a cost.
While people will live longer, their quality of life may not improve.
The Office of National Statistics says the number of people expected to live more than 85 years will rise to more than three million by 2032.
The number of people with dementia could double to 1.4 million within 30 years.
The booming older population will lead to higher health, pensions and social security costs for taxpayers. It will also put more pressure on governments to delay retirement age to pay for the extra health costs of an older population.