VILNIUS 's The gap in the average life expectancy between Lithuanian men and women is worryingly large, the National Health Board reported.
"The positive change is that the average life expectancy is gradually increasing. Today it is at 72.1 years. However, the negative characteristic is that male life expectancy is far shorter than that of women. The indicator reflects the achievements of the society and the country. The more developed the country is, the smaller the gap is," the board's chairman, Juozas Pundzius, said during the presentation of the annual report at Parliament.
In Lithuania, women live an average of 11 years longer than men, the largest difference among all members of the European Union. The average life expectancy for women is 78 years, while that for men is 67 years.
In the beginning of 2006, the Lithuanian population included 1.814 million women and 1.589 million men. Women account for 53.3 percent of the population.