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Rejuvenation Res. 2014 Dec;17(6):499-506. doi: 10.1089/rej.2014.1587.

Gender differences in survival in old age.

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1 The Jerusalem Institute of Aging Research, Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center Mount Scopus, and Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School , Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, Israel .



Although increased survival among females is observed throughout much of adult life, supporting evidence among the oldest old is lacking.


We examined the hypothesis that gender differences in survival diminish with advancing age.


The Jerusalem Longitudinal Study follows a representative cohort born 1920-1921, comprehensively assessed at ages 70, 78, 85, and 90 (n=463, 927, 1224, and 673, respectively). Mortality data were collected during 1990-2013. Kaplan-Meier survival curves and mortality hazards ratios (HRs) were determined, adjusting for gender, marital status, education, loneliness, self-rated health, physical activity, functional status, neoplasm, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and ischemic heart disease.


Survival between ages 70-78 was 77.3% (n=358/463), 78-85 was 68.9% (n=635/927), 85-90 years was 71.1% (n=870/1224), and 90-93 years was 80.5% (n=542/673). With advancing age, the survival advantage among females versus men declined-at ages 70-78 (85.6% vs. 71%, p<0.0001), 78-85 (74% vs. 63%, p=0.001), 85-90 (74% vs. 67.5%, p=0.06), and 90-93 (80% vs. 81%, p=0.92). Compared to females (HR=1.0), the adjusted HR for male mortality at ages 70-78 was 2.93 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.75-4.91), ages 78-85 was 2.1 (95% CI 1.5-2.92), ages 85-90 was 1.6 (95% CI 1.2-2.2), and ages 90-93 was 1.1 (95% CI 0.7-1.8).


Our findings confirm the hypothesis that the increased longevity observed among females at age 70 gradually diminishes with advancing age, and disappears beyond age 90.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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