Female life expectancy falls as women live like men

London: Life expectancy for women has fallen and doctors blame the decrease on unhealthy lifestyles.

Women they say are adopting male lifestyles, smoking and drinking too much alcohol alongside stressful full-time jobs.

A new report from independent think-tank, the Office of Health Economics, says that women are likely to live an extra four and half years longer than men and the gap will continue to close. Their data reveals that a girl born in 2002 had a life expectancy of 80.7 years while a boy born the same year had a life expectancy of 76.2 years – a difference of 4.5 years.

This compared to 1974 statistics when female life expectancy at birth was 75.6 years against 69.2 years – a gap of 6.4 years and the biggest difference since records began in the 19th century.

Male life expectancy is improving as a result of successful new cancer treatments, particular in lung cancer where the death rate has decreased by 50 per cent. While in women deaths have increased by 45 per cent.

Jon Sussex, associate director of the OHE, said the figures revealed a change in women’s lifestyles. While men are giving up smoking in increasing numbers women are drinking in increasing numbers and more likely to be obese. In addition an increasing number of women are in full time employment.