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Why are women living longer than men?

Vilma Santora (2022-04-20)


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 much longer than men today, and why has this advantage increased over time? We only have a few clues and the evidence isn't sufficient to support an informed conclusion. Although we know that there are biological, behavioral and اضيق وضعية للجماع environmental variables that play an integral role in women living longer than males, we aren't sure what percentage each factor plays in.

We know that women live longer than men, regardless of their weight. But, this is not due to the fact that certain biological factors have changed. These are the factors that are changing. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, like the fact that men smoke more often. Some 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.

1.jpgEverywhere 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 above the diagonal line of parity. This means that a newborn girl from every country could anticipate to live longer than her brothers.

This graph shows that while there is a female advantage throughout the world, the differences between countries could be significant. In Russia women have a longer life span than men; in Bhutan the gap is less than half an hour.

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In wealthy countries, the women's advantage in longevity was smaller
Let's look at how the advantage of women in longevity has changed with time. The next chart plots male and female life expectancy at birth in the US over the period 1790-2014. Two things stand out.

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

The gap is increasing: While the female advantage in life expectancy was once extremely small however, it has grown significantly in the past.

If you select the option "Change country' on the chart, determine if these two points are applicable to the other countries with available information: Sweden, France and the UK.