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Why are women living longer than men?

Ferne Sisk (2022-04-19)


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? The evidence is sketchy and we only have incomplete solutions. We know that behavioral, biological and environmental factors contribute to the fact that women are healthier than men; However, we're not sure what the contribution of each one of these factors is.

We know that women are living longer than men, regardless of their weight. However, this is not due to the fact that 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 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 above the diagonal line of parity. This implies that a baby girl from every country could be expected to live for longer than her brother.

The chart below shows that although there is a women's advantage across all countries, differences between countries are often significant. In Russia women have a longer life span than men, ابر التخسيس while in Bhutan the difference is just half a year.

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The female advantage in terms of life expectancy was lower in developed countries than it is today.
Let's look at how female longevity advantage has changed over time. The next chart plots the life expectancy of males and females when they were born in the US between 1790 and 2014. Two aspects stand out.

There is an upward trend. Both genders living in America are living longer than they were 100 years ago. This is in line with historical increases in life expectancy everywhere in the world.

The gap is getting wider: Although the advantage of women in life expectancy was very small, it has increased substantially over time.

lipedemiaandperiodontitisarticlejournaloIt is possible to verify that these points are also applicable to other countries with data by clicking the "Change country" option on the chart. This includes the UK, France, and Sweden.