Women in North can expect to live almost four years longer than men

Improvement mainly due to reduced mortality from circulatory disease and cancer

Male life expectancy however has increased while women’s life expectancy has remained close to the same, the figures show. Photograph: iStock

Male life expectancy however has increased while women’s life expectancy has remained close to the same, the figures show. Photograph: iStock

 

Women in Northern Ireland can expect to live close to four years longer than men, according to the latest life expectancy statistics for the North.

Male life expectancy however has increased while women’s life expectancy has remained close to the same, the figures show.

In 2016-18 life expectancy in Northern Ireland was 78.7 years for men and 82.4 years for women. This was an increase of 0.4 years for men from the years 2012-14 when male life expectancy was 78.3 years. Over the same period women’s life expectancy increased by just 0.1 years from 82.3 years

Decreased mortality rates among 60-89 year olds contributed to the majority of the increase in male life expectancy over the period, the North’s Department of Health reported.

Reduced mortality from circulatory disease and cancer, among other causes, increased male life expectancy by 0.8 years. However this increase was offset by 0.4 years due to a rise in mortality for a range of causes, including digestive diseases and nervous system disorders, mainly Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

Despite no significant improvement in female life expectancy between 2012 amd 2014 and 2016 to 2018, there was a reduction in mortality among those aged 50-59.

An improvement of 0.6 years in female life expectancy, mainly due to reduced mortality from circulatory disease and cancer, was largely offset by increased mortality from mental and behavioural disorders, mainly dementia, and nervous system diseases.

Life expectancy at age 65 in 2016-18 in Northern Ireland was 18.4 years for males and 20.7 years for females.

Over the last five years, there has been no significant change in life expectancy at 65 for females while male life expectancy at age 65 increased by 0.3 years.

In 2016-18 women in Northern Ireland could expect to live 3.7 years longer than males. Across all age groups, male mortality was higher than that of females, with the exception those aged 0-9 where there was higher female mortality mainly from congenital causes.

Higher male mortality from cancer and circulatory disease accounted for 1.2 and 0.8 years of the gap respectively. Mortality from suicide was also higher among males and accounted for a further 0.5 years of the gender gap.