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Implications of Increasing Disparity Between the Mortality of the Sexes

Roy J. Popkin, MD
JAMA. 1973;225(9):1123-1124. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220370061032.
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To the Editor.—  Recent news releases by the US Census Bureau inform us that in the United States women of age 65 outnumber men by more than 3 million; this gap is expected to become larger.1 The increasing longevity of women, as compared to the men, has been well known in the medical profession. Most of our patients in the middle and older ages are women. The number of senior citizen homes and other facilities for women far outnumber those for men.According to the Census Bureau, the elderly will make up 11% of the population by 1990. Our society apparently can cope with this increase and its predominantly female character with little sociological or cultural impact.What should be of greater concern to us is that the younger age groups are now involved in this disparity. It is no more a geriatric problem exclusively. The sex differentials in


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