TOKYO (majirox news) — Japanese male longevity reached an all-time high of 79.64 years in 2010, but average lifespans for women declined slightly last year, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said July 27.
Japanese male longevity grew for the fifth consecutive year, rising by 0.05 years, continuing to extend its record and rising to fourth-longest in the world.
Women’s longevity remained the longest in the world at 86.39 years, but declined by 0.05 years compared with 2009 to mark the first decrease in five years.
Ministry officials said the record-breaking heat of the 2009 may have been to blame for the decrease in female longevity as there were more deaths caused by heat exhaustion and heart failure in the hottest months of July and August.
Heat exhaustion deaths also rose among Japanese men in 2009, but these were offset by a decrease in the ratio of cancer deaths, which also raised the overall rate of longevity.
The gap in average lifespans between Japanese women and men shrank in 2010 to 6.75 years.