TB, violence knock years off men’s lives
Women live 10 years longer
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.
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.