Why do Women Live Longer than Men?

IAS News 28 June 2013 | 2 Comments

It has long been known, and accepted, that women have a longer average lifespan than men. Currently women live an average of 5 years longer than men, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And among those who pass the age of 100, a massive 85% of them are female. There are multiple reasons for this being the case, which include genetic, hormonal, psychological and sociological factors. However more recent studies have shown a new theory, which looks into the immunological differences that could give another example of why there is such a sizeable gap between men’s and women’s lifespan. A Japanese study has shown that women’s immune systems age slower than men’s. Men’s telomeres also show signs of shortening at a faster rate – which is something that the regular readers will know is a major factor in health and longevity.
Other studies point to the delay between the ages that a woman will develop heart conditions compared to men. This difference is about 10 years, with men developing such illnesses in their 50’s and 60’s and women not until their 70’s and 80’s. Menstruation could be one such factor in why this happens; this causes women to have less iron in the blood stream which slows down the process of free radicals.
Of course not all reasons can be given to genetic causes as to why men don’t live as long as women. These can include men smoking more than women, eating more foods that lead to high cholesterol, an inability to deal with stress can lead to depression, and men are more likely to succeed at attempting suicide than women in extreme cases of depression. Then you have the testosterone boost that comes during the teen years, which may lead to rash behaviors causing a very early death.
Of course these aren’t the only reasons why women are living longer than men but it does list a few of the important, and most substantial ones!

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2 Responses on “Why do Women Live Longer than Men?”

  1. Jenny says:

    I had always assumed it was due to the stress at work that caused men to have a shorter lifespan. Now that women work in high stressed jobs I wonder if that will make a difference. Having your family depend on you can be very tough.

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