In major progress shown by a study, the life cycle gap between men and women in the US has been expanding, stretching out to its largest margin since 1996. An inclusive study, done by the experts from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has highlighted this disturbing trend. The study indicates that the longevity variation between men and women in the US has extended to 5.8 years in 2021, up from 4.8 years in 2010. This is the most major inequality in more than two decades. The lead author of the study, Brandon Yan says that there has been a lack of systemic analysis in the past to recognize the reason behind this growing disparity since 2010.
Experts have said that the COVID-19 pandemic has surfaced as the key factor for this rising difference from 2019 to 2021. Men were excessively impacted by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, causing more major reduction in their longevity. The study also shows an increase in inadvertent wounds, accidents, suicides, and as well as poisonings, mostly due to drug overdoses among men. The lead author has highlighted that women and men both have experienced elevated rates of deaths due to drug overdose, and homicides but men account for an excessively greater share of these mortalities. The study used data from the National Center for Health Statistics to recognize the top causes of mortality affecting life expectancy and matched the impacts on both men and women to distinguish the disparity effect on gender disparity.
Accidental injuries, suicide, diabetes, homicide, and heart ailments were the major contributing factors prior to the pandemic for gender disparity in longevity. Experts have found that men have been more adversely impacted due to factors such as health behaviors and social causes like incarceration, work exposure risk, medical care hesitancy, and unstable housing. The authors of the study say that authorities need to take significant measures to prevent these gaps from becoming deep-rooted. There is a need for focused care, especially in mental health, for men to cater to this rising inequality in life expectancy.