Why Do Women Live Longer Than Men?

Posted on 11 July 2015

Whilst there are plenty of exceptions to the rule, it’s common knowledge and a statistical reality that women tend to outlive men as a whole. The reasons for this gap haven’t always been clear however and there has been debate as to whether biology or lifestyle explains this gap. 

A large study conducted by the USC Davis School of Gerontology has sought to unravel some of the mystery by examining data from 13 developed nations between 1800 and 1935 and analysing mortality rates for those over 40 in that period. It found that female death rates decreased 70% faster than for males post-1880, but interesting even after taking into account smoking data, cardiovascular disease was still the major cause of death for men. It seemed to hit men harder than women earlier on:

“We were surprised at how the divergence in mortality between men and women, which originated as early as 1870, was concentrated in the 50 to 70 age range and faded out sharply after age 80,” 

It is not yet clear exactly why men are at greater risk of heart disease in this period in comparison to women, but more analysis could lead to clues regarding deeper lifestyle or genetic elements with a possible correlation. 

“Further study could include analysis of diet and exercise activity differences between countries, deeper examination of genetics and biological vulnerability between sexes at the cell level, and the relationship of these findings to brain health at later ages,” 

Read more at RT

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