LATEST RESEARCH FROM the UK suggests that men are closing the gap on women in terms of average life expectancy.
Analysis of 2012 figures, published in The Lancet journal, show the average life expectancy for women in England and Wales is 83.3 years with the corresponding age for men at 79.5 years.
Both these ages have sharply increased over the course of the last 30 years but the figure for men has increased more rapidly.
Life expectancy for men has increased by 8.2 years since 1981 with women living an average of six years longer.
The researchers have calculated that by 2030 the difference in life expectancy between men and women will be down to less than two years.
In fact, in some parts of the UK the researchers predict that men and women will have the same life expectancy in 15 years time. This is primarily because death rates among middle-aged men are expected to fall more quickly than death rates among middle-aged women.
At the moment women outlive men in every district in the UK.
The figures also pointed to a massive difference in life expectancy between the most and least affluent parts of the UK.
The largest difference in life expectancy between English and Welsh local authority districts in 2012 (8 years for men and 7 years for women) was equivalent to the gap between the average life expectancy in the UK and countries like Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Nicaragua.