Male mortality is continuing to improve more quickly than female, according to results from the Continuous Mortality Investigation Bureau.
The series of reports on the mortality experience of assured lives, annuitants and pensioners shows that men and women are living longer but the mortality gap on gender is narrowing slowly.
Male rates for the main assured lives' investigation have improved by 20 per cent over the last decade compared with a 5 per cent improvement for women.
Mortality rates are measured against standard tables which show results for people with UK life insurance policies in the period between 1999-02, compared with the table for 1991-94.
The figures reveal that an average 45-year old smoker is more than twice as likely to die before reaching 60 than a non-smoker of the same age.
Continuous Mortality Investigation Bureau chairman Brian Ridsdale says figures for mortality vary according to different classes of policy and the rate at which mortality will continue to improve, or not, in the future will be more difficult to predict.
Ridsdale says: “The entire financial services industry, together with investors and city commentators, have rightly been paying far more attention to mortality trends and projections recently than they ever did in the past.”