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January 19, 2005 3:00 AM

Men gaining on women in race to live longer

Women, take care: After more than a century of living longer than men, your advantage is starting to shrink. Men are gaining on you. Thats the conclusion of scientists who study the puzzling question of why females generally outlive males in the United States and other advanced nations. Women live longer than men for reasons that are still not completely understood, said Richard Hodes, director of the National Institute on Aging in Washington. But its certainly changing: A female born in 1975 could expect to live 7.8 years longer than a male. Now the gender gap is down to 5.4 years, smaller than at any time since 1950.

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