Professor Leslie Mayhew, Cass Professor of Statistics, thinks that the lifespan of men is catching up with women.
Professor Mayhew and colleague David Smith, have worked out that a boy born in 2000 will, from the age of 30, have the same life expectancy as a girl of the same age. His calculations apply only from the age of 30 as baby boys are still expected to be more fragile than girls and young men are more likely to die in sporting and road accidents.
His findings appear to suggest that men are replacing old-fashioned macho behaviour for longevity. Fewer men smoke and male cancer rates are now half the level they were in 1975, while female lung cancer rates have almost doubled during the same period, albeit at a lower level than men’s.