If you are one of my male classmates and are still alive to read this, you are beating the odds. Maybe.
A recent BBC article says that he average life expectancy for European men is 72.5 years while for women it is 80, a gap of 7.5 years. Men have not yet reached the average life expectancy that women had in 1980.
But this is for Europe, and we are not Europeans, for which, guys, we may be thankful. The survey found significant differences between countries. The gap was greatest in Belarus, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Montenegro, Russia, and the Ukraine. Those with the smallest were Iceland, Israel, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the UK.
In the UK, the average life expectancy in 2010 was 82.5 years for females and 78.5 for males. The US was not mentioned, but I suspect we more resemble the UK.
The researchers say that lifestyle and occupational differences largely explain the gap. “There are persistent and widespread inequities in health across the region, which in some cases are worsening.” The leading health risk factors for Europeans today are alcohol and tobacco use, prevalent among males in the countries with the highest gap.
A professor of men’s health at Leeds Metropolitan University said, “Men are not programmed to die young. Although the survival gap between men and women has always been present, it does not have to be so wide.”