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Men Catching Up To Women In Longevity, But Gap Remains Due To Y Chromosome

New research reveals longer life expectancies and shrinking gender disparities, but Y chromosome conditions hinder complete parity

Humans are living longer all across the world while the gap between men and women is closing, new research reveals.

But although men are catching up with women in the longevity stakes, the experts believe they will never close the gap completely due to conditions caused by their Y chromosome.


Researchers who split world populations into five clusters found each area demonstrated longer life expectancies and fewer disparities between genders over the last 30 years.

Spanish scientists also used their data to predict that these trends will continue into the next decade.


The new study, published in the journal PLoS ONE, analyzed data from across all continents between 1990 and 2000.

The researchers found that most countries in the world have seen improvements in longevity over the past two centuries.

In the new study, the multi-national research team used new statistical approaches to analyze not just people’s life expectancies at birth but eight other mortality indicators using data from the United Nations Populations Division records relating to 194 countries.


They then lumped these countries together to create five separate clusters based on their mortality and longevity characteristics between 1990 and 2010. The researchers noticed that several countries switched clusters in the space of this timeframe, often based on wars and damaging socioeconomic and political conditions. But, in general, the clusters represent the configuration of continents.

Amongst all five of the clusters of countries, the researchers found that life expectancy is increasing and the male-female mortality gap shrinking.


The researchers also extended their model to predict outcomes for the groupings in 2030 and found a continuation of these trends. Though all areas improved, Africa was found to be the region with the most significant improvements in mortality indicators.


Professor David Atance, of Spain’s Universidad de Alcalá, said the closing of the gender longevity gap could be explained by the past ‘harmful’ lifestyles of blue-collar males falling by the wayside in recent years. Prof Atance, a lead author of the study, said: “All convergence clubs and countries studied have improved their mortality indicators.


“This fact clearly presents the growth in the aging processes around the world during the last 30 years and even that this process will continue in the future, according to our projections. “Even the best-performing high-income countries continue to grow, although these improvements slowed over time.


“The male-female gap is also decreasing among the convergence clubs and countries. “These sex differences can be mainly determined by the harmful lifestyles of blue-collar males.


“In the future, this gap will narrow, although sex differences will continue to exist in the future. “This fact can be explained by the Y chromosome, which is associated with an increased risk of mortality and age-related diseases, such as cardiovascular and heart diseases, fibrosis, cardiac dysfunction, etc.


“This paper has updated the literature about world convergence clubs of mortality using a more sophisticated technique, such as the clustering method, and has also provided a global view of longevity.


“In this study, we presented that picture including a global view of mortality, throughout seven mortality indicators, and also included a perspective of how these convergence clubs could evolve in the future for male and female populations.”


Produced in association with SWNS Talker

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