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Men "lose life expectancy gap"

Men closed the life expectancy gap on women in the last decade and can now expect to live almost three years longer, according to government figures.

Boys born in England between 2007 and 2009 can expect to live to the age of 78 because of the improvement, while girls should live to a little past their 82nd birthday on average, leaving a gap of just four years.

The gap in life expectancy was almost five years nearly a decade ago, when boys could expect to live to 75.3, while girls were expected to reach 80.

Male life expectancy has increased by 3.7% since 1998-2000, while the Department of Health's figures show female life expectancy has gone up by 2.5%.

Death rates fell sharply in 2007-2009, with mortality rates falling by more than 22% in men and nearly 18% in women.

The figures showed fewer people under the age of 75 died from cancer between 2007 and 2009 compared with 10 years ago, while the number of deaths from circulatory diseases including strokes almost halved in both men and women.

Deaths from circulatory diseases among women were less than half the rate for men, falling to 43.2 per 100,000 compared with 99.4 per 100,000 for males, the report said.

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