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Why are women living longer than men?

Roma Glaze (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. Why do women live so more than men do today and why does this benefit increase in the past? The evidence is sketchy and we're left with only incomplete answers. We know that biological, behavioral and environmental factors play a role in the fact that women live longer than men; however, we aren't sure what the contribution of each factor is.

In spite of the amount of weight, ابر التخسيس we are aware that a large portion of the reason women live longer than men today, but not in the past, is to have to do with the fact that some key non-biological factors have changed. What are these changing factors? Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Others 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. As we can see, all countries are above the diagonal parity line ; it means that in all nations the newborn girl is likely to live longer than a newborn boy.1

This chart is interesting in that it shows that although the female advantage exists across all countries, the country-specific differences are huge. In Russia, women live 10 years more than males. In Bhutan, the difference is less than half a calendar year.

The female advantage in life expectancy was much lower in developed countries than it is now.
Let's take a look at how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The following chart shows the men and women's life expectancies at birth in the US in the years 1790 to 2014. Two things stand out.

There is an upward trend. Women and men in America have longer lives than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

There is a widening gap: The female advantage in life expectancy used be very small, but it grew substantially during the last century.

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