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Why do women have longer lives than men?

Tawanna Cates (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. What's the reason women are more likely to live longer than men? And how does this benefit increase as time passes? The evidence is sketchy and we're left with only incomplete answers. We know that biological, behavioral and زيوت تطويل الشعر environmental factors all contribute to the fact that women are healthier than men; however, we do not know what the contribution to each of these variables is.

Independently of the exact amount of weight, we are aware that at least a portion of the reason why women live so much longer than men do today however not as in the past, is to be due to the fact that some key non-biological factors have changed. These factors are changing. Some are well known and relatively straightforward, زيوت تطويل الشعر 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.

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 means that a newborn girl from every country could anticipate to live longer than her brothers.

It is interesting to note that while the female advantage exists in all countries, cross-country differences are large. In Russia, women live for 10 years longer than males. In Bhutan the gap is just half a year.

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In wealthy countries, the female advantage in longevity was previously smaller.
Let's examine how the female longevity advantage has changed over time. The next chart shows the life expectancy of males and females when they were born in the US over the period 1790-2014. Two points stand out.

The first is that there is an upward trend. Men and women in the United States 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 an increasing gap: The female advantage in terms of life expectancy used to be very small but it increased substantially during the last century.

If you select the option "Change country' on the chart, you can verify that these two points apply to the other countries with available data: Sweden, France and the UK.