Life expectancy gap widens between men and women

For years, various studies have shown that men have a shorter life expectancy compared to women across the globe. However, since the mid-1990s, the gap in life expectancy between American men and women has widened the most ever to almost six years, in which American women will live longer than men. This is a gap that has been becoming increasingly larger since 2010. In 2010, the life expectancy gap was 4.8 years between men and women, which was the shortest in recent history.

Life expectancy gap between men and women – Wider than before

A new study in JAMA Internal Medicine and what’s concerning researchers is that the U.S. life expectancy has been decreasing over the past few years. In 2019, Americans could expect to live to 78.8 years but that since has dropped to 76.1 years in 2021. Part of this blame is due to the COVID pandemic and overdoses from opioids which have widened how long a person may live based on gender differences. Men were affected the most by the pandemic but other mortality contributors were accidents, drug overdoses, unintentional injuries, and suicide. Many of these situations are attributed and linked to men experiencing economic hardship and depression. Women also suffered from many of these same afflictions but men had a much larger disproportionate share of these deaths.

Men are more hesitant to seek timely medical care

Men had a higher risk of dying from COVID during the height of the pandemic. Many of the reasons for this were blamed on men’s hesitancy to seek timely medical care, drug use, and being in job situations that placed them at a greater risk of exposure. 

The takeaway message for medical professionals and men is that more specialized care and public health interventions are needed to address this problem and to help reverse men’s decline in life expectancy. Some have suggested there needs to be more of a focus on men’s mental health with a focus on investing in prevention and getting men the care they need before it’s too late. 


Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy.  Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911.   




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