Northern Ireland: disability-free life expectancy tumbles

07 February 2020

Life expectancy free of disability declined in Northern Irelandin 2016-18. It is now 57.3 years for men and 57.2 years for women, a decline of 3.0 years for men and 4.6 years for women since 2012-14.

The figures from the Department of Health also show that over the past five years, male life expectancy has increased by 0.4 years to 78.7 years, while female life expectancy has seen a mere 0.1 year increase to 82.4 years.

Decreased mortality rates among 60- to 89-year-olds contributed to most of the increase in male life expectancy. But while mortality from circulatory disease and cancer has reduced, it was partially offset by the increase in deaths from a range of causes, including digestive diseases and nervous system disorders.

The gender life expectancy gap has narrowed from 6.4 years in 1980-82 to 3.7 years today

The figures also show men can expect to remain healthy until 59.7 years, an increase of 1.0 years since 2012-14. Female healthy life expectancy was 60.8 years in 2016-18 and has not changed significantly.

The gender life expectancy gap has narrowed since 1980-82, when women outlived men by 6.4 years. Today, the gap is 3.7 years.

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