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There’s a widening gender gap when it comes to life expectancy, according to new research published in JAMA Internal Medicine. It turns out that men in the U.S. now live almost six years less than women. Researchers found life expectancy for men is 73.2 years, and for women it’s 79.1 years. The 5.8 year gap is the widest seen since 1996. In terms of trendlines, women do tend to live longer than men in countries throughout the globe, and American women have outlived men for more than a century. One of the researchers noted the opioid epidemic, mental health, and chronic metabolic disease are the likely culprits contributing to the life expectancy decline for men compared to women, but baseline factors should be examined as well, in terms of men’s genetics and vulnerability to chronic disease.

Global comparisons shine new light: Life expectancy in the U.S. overall has declined of late, decreasing from 78.8 years in the prepandemic era of 2019 to 77 years in 2020 during the early days of the pandemic then down to 76.1 last year. According to STAT News, countries such as Japan, Korea, Portugal, the U.K., and Italy have a life expectancy of 80 years or more, outshining the United States.

Women Live Longer Than Men, Gap Widens Even More