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Why women live longer than men?

Kassandra Capasso (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's the reason women have a longer life span than men? Why is this difference growing in the past? There isn't much evidence and we only have some answers. While we are aware that there are biological, behavioral and environmental factors that all play a role in women who live longer than men, we don't know what percentage each factor plays in.

In spite of the weight, زيوت تطويل الشعر we know that at a minimum, the reason women live longer than men, but not in the past, has to be due to the fact that some important non-biological aspects have changed. What are these changing factors? 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 every country is over the diagonal line of parity. This means that a newborn girl in every country can be expected to live for longer than her older brother.

Interestingly, this chart shows that the advantage of women is present everywhere, country-specific differences are huge. In Russia women live for 10 years longer than men. In Bhutan there is a difference of less than half a calendar year.

The advantage for women in life expectancy was much lower in developed countries as compared to the present.
Let's look at how female longevity advantage has changed over time. The next chart shows male and female life expectancy at birth in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two specific points stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Both genders in America live longer than they used to 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 however, it has increased significantly during the last century.

32455078503_f790d6a32f.jpgUsing the option 'Change country' on the chart, confirm that the two points are also applicable to the other countries with available information: Sweden, France and the UK.