TB, vi­o­lence knock years off men’s lives

Women live 10 years longer

Sowetan - - News - By Dave Cham­bers

A “re­mark­able” dif­fer­ence in men’s and women’s life ex­pectan­cies in a ru­ral area is due to TB and in­juries linked to vi­o­lence.

On av­er­age‚ women in the uMkhanyakude district – bor­der­ing Mozam­bique and Swazi­land in the north of KwaZulu-Natal – live 10.4 years longer than men‚ ac­cord­ing to a new study.

For HIV-neg­a­tive peo­ple the gap is even greater‚ at 13.1 years‚ and the re­searchers said both fig­ures were “ex­cep­tion­ally large” com­pared with the world­wide av­er­age gap of five years.

Aca­demics from Wits Uni­ver­sity and the Uni­ver­sity of KZN‚ with col­leagues from the UK and US‚ at­trib­uted 5.6 years of the gap in HIVneg­a­tive peo­ple to the higher TB mor­tal­ity rate among men.

“El­e­vated rates of ex­ter­nal in­juries among men ac­counted for 4.1 years of the total sex dif­fer­ence‚” they write in the jour­nal Plos One.

Life ex­pectancy was put at 56.4 years for men and 66.8 years for women‚ with the gap “more than four times the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion’s 2013 es­ti­mate of 2.5 years for the African re­gion as a whole‚”

Two other rea­sons ren­dered the re­sults re­mark­able:

HIV preva­lence was very

● high‚ some­thing that usu­ally re­duces sex dif­fer­ences in life ex­pectancy; and

Male mor­tal­ity was dis­pro­por­tion­ally

● high as a re­sult of TB and in­juries.

/ JAMES OATWAY

Men in the KZN district of Mkhanyakude live 10 to 13 years shorter than women in the area, mar­gins that re­searchers say su­percede global av­er­ages.

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