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Why women are more likely to live longer than men?

Jetta Tedesco (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 makes women live more than men do today and why have these advantages gotten bigger over time? We have only a small amount of evidence and the evidence is not sufficient to reach an informed conclusion. Although we know that there are behavioral, biological, and environmental factors that all play a role in the longevity of women over men, we don't know how much each factor contributes.

32455078503_f790d6a32f.jpgWe have learned that women live longer than men, افضل كريم للشعر regardless of their weight. However this isn't because of certain non-biological factors have changed. These variables are evolving. 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. We can see that all countries are over the diagonal line of parity. This means that a newborn girl in all countries can expect to live longer than her brother.

The chart above shows that although the female advantage exists in all countries, global differences are significant. In Russia women live 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan the gap is only half a year.

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In rich countries the women's advantage in longevity was not as great.
Let's examine how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The next chart plots the life expectancy of males and females when they were born in the US over the period 1790-2014. Two distinct points stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Both genders in the United States live longer than they did a century ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

And second, there is a widening gap: The female advantage in terms of life expectancy used to be quite small but it increased substantially during the last century.

You can verify that these are applicable to other countries with data by clicking the "Change country" option in the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.