Imagine that you want to get to Vyborg from St. Petersburg. When you enter the coordinates into the navigator, the program calculates the approximate travel time from one city to another based on the current traffic. And if there is a traffic jam on the outskirts of the city in St. Petersburg, the additional time spent on traffic jams will be included in the estimate. Of course, you will not be aware of all stages of the trip, moreover, while you are driving around the city, the traffic jam may dissipate. In much the same way, scientists calculate the approximate life expectancy. The reason women live longer than men is surprising, according to a new study.
How is life expectancy calculated?
According to The Conversation, life expectancy is made up of many small pieces, one for each age, and demographers can choose these pieces separately. Scientists from the University of Southern Denmark and the University of Groningen have published their findings in BMC Public Health. Researchers examined a fraction of the life expectancy of high-income people in North America, Europe and Oceania between the ages of 50 and 85, between 1950 and 2015. It turned out that in the 1950s, men lived about two and a half years less than women. And in the 1980s, this difference increased to four and a half years. Then, in 2015, the difference in life expectancy dropped to a new low of about two years. The result was surprising - all of this increase and subsequent decline was associated with smoking. Quitting smoking evens out the difference in life expectancy between 50 and 85 years by two years. Who would have thought?
Smoking slowly destroys the body. Since historically men started smoking earlier than women and much more, any effect of smoking on life expectancy is primarily manifested in men. While scientists and doctors were doing research on the dangers of smoking, women also became addicted to this addiction. Now, decades later, mortality due to the health effects of smoking is declining in men, but increasing in older women who have smoked in the past. This creates a pattern called the “smoking epidemic”: first men smoke, then men start dying from smoking, around the same time women start smoking, then women start dying from smoking.
In some countries, such as the UK and the Netherlands, more women may soon die from smoking than men.
In the final stages of the smoking epidemic, people finally get smarter and quit smoking. This last phase of the smoking epidemic, however, is more complex. But people continue to smoke today. Moreover, many are addicted to e-cigarettes and vapes, which has led to several deaths in the United States. Nevertheless, the research of scientists showed good news. Recently, there has been a significant decrease in mortality from smoking among people around the age of 50. While some people continue to smoke, at least some believe that tobacco is a killer.