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[Correspondence] Future inequalities in life expectancy in England and Wales – Authors’ reply

The observed closing of the life expectancy gap between men and women in our study of life expectancy trends in England and Wales,1 and the projections that this closing will continue, are consistent with data in other populations with small mortality differences between men and women.2,3 Investigators of the most recent of such reports concluded that “the current excess of female life expectancy in adulthood is a relatively new demographic phenomenon”.2 The divergence and reconvergence of male–female mortality is well known to be largely due to different levels and trends in deaths from external causes (injuries) and from disorders such as lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases, for which risk factors (eg, smoking) have different trends in men and women.