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Why do women live longer than men?

Ferne Sisk (2022-04-18)


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 is the reason women live longer than men? And اضيق وضعية للجماع how the advantage has grown over time? The evidence isn't conclusive and we have only incomplete answers. While we are aware that there are biological, behavioral and environmental variables which all play a part in the longevity of women over men, we don't know how much each one contributes.

It is known that women are living longer than men, regardless of their weight. But it is not due to the fact that certain non-biological aspects have changed. What are these factors that have changed? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others are more complex. 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 every country is over the line of parity diagonally. This implies that a baby girl from every country could expect to live longer than her older brother.

This chart illustrates that, while there is a female advantage everywhere, cross-country differences can be substantial. In Russia women have an average of 10 years more than men, while in Bhutan the gap is less than half one year.

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In the richer countries, the longevity advantage for women was smaller
Let's look at how female longevity advantage has changed over time. The chart below shows male and female life expectancies when they were born in the US during the period 1790-2014. Two specific points stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Both genders in America live longer than they used to 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

Second, اضيق وضعية للجماع there's an increase in the gap between men and women: female advantage in life expectancy used to be quite small, but it grew substantially in the past century.

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