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March 01, 2005
US life expectancy up to 77.6 years; gender gap narrows
Declines in death rates from most major causes -- including heart disease and cancer -- have pushed Americans' life expectancy to a record 77.6 years. Women are still living longer than men, but the gap is narrowing.
Women now have a life expectancy of 80.1 years, 5.3 more than men. That's down from 5.4 years in 2002 and continues a steady decline from a peak difference of 7.8 years in 1979, the National Center for Health Statistics said yesterday in its annual mortality report.
Mary A. Salmon, a sociology professor at the University of North Carolina, said that the rising life expectancy rates have caused ''lots of speculation on how this will affect Social Security."
Posted by Tom Troceen