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Why women are more likely to live longer than men?

Randall Patterson (2022-04-15)


Everywhere in the world women live longer than men - but this was not always the case. The available data from rich countries shows that women didn't live longer than men in the 19th century. What's the main reason women are more likely to live longer than men? What is the reason does this benefit increase as time passes? The evidence is limited and علامات الحمل بولد we're only able to provide incomplete solutions. We are aware that behavioral, biological and environmental factors all play a role in the fact that women are healthier than men; however, we aren't sure how significant the impact of each one of these factors is.

Independently of the exact amount of weight, we are aware that a large portion of the reason why women live longer than men in the present but not in the past, has to relate to the fact that some fundamental non-biological factors have changed. The factors changing are numerous. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Certain are more complicated. For example, there is evidence that in rich countries the female advantage increased in part because infectious diseases used to affect women disproportionately a century ago, so advances in medicine that reduced the long-term health burden from infectious diseases, especially for survivors, ended up raising women's longevity disproportionately.

Everywhere in the world women tend to live longer than men
The first chart below shows life expectancy at birth for men and women. We can see that all countries are over the diagonal line of parity. This implies that a baby girl from every country could expect to live longer than her younger brother.

The chart above shows that while the female advantage is present everywhere, country-specific differences are huge. In Russia women live for 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan the gap is just half a year.

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In the richer countries, the advantage of women in longevity was not as great.
Let's examine how the advantage of women in longevity has changed with time. The next chart plots the male and female lifespans when they were born in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two areas stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Women and men in America live longer than they were 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The second is that there is a widening gap: The female advantage in terms of life expectancy used to be quite small however it increased dramatically over the course of the last century.

By selecting 'Change Country from the chart, you can determine if these two points are also applicable to the other countries having available information: Sweden, France and the UK.