The life expectancy tables used by insurance companies give a clear picture about our longevity.  This explains why smokers pay fifty percent more on their insurance policies.  Research has verified that the cost of smoking entails more than the money spent on cigarettes.

Life expectancy in Western countries has been increasing steadily over the last century, from around fifty years of age to approaching eighty.  On average, women live about seven years longer than men.  However as lifestyles change, this gap is narrowing.  Interestingly, married men live on average over six years longer than never married men.  Marriage seems to have no such protective function for women.  Urban living raises the life expectancy of women, but lowers it for men.  Women in their later years, particularly after age eighty-five, suffer more health problems than men.

Once you pass the age of sixty-five the chances of reaching seventy-five are one in two.  After the age of seventy-five, the chances of reaching eighty-five are one in four.  Almost no one over the age of a hundred dies of a particular disease – they die of old age.  Two thirds of those over a hundred are women.

So many deaths of the ill and aged occur between midnight and breakfast time, that from a statistician’s point of view, no matter how sick you are, if you are still alive at ten a.m. the odds are you will live another day.

So next time you’re really sick, try to hang on until after breakfast.