Комментарии читателей

Why women are more likely to live longer than men?

Merlin Dunstan (2022-04-22)

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 main reason women are more likely to live longer than men? What is the reason has this advantage gotten larger over time? We only have a few clues and the evidence isn't strong enough to make an unambiguous conclusion. We are aware that behavioral, اوضاع الجماع ( biological and environmental factors all contribute to the fact that women have longer life spans than men, but we don't know exactly how much the influence of each of these factors is.

We have learned that women live longer than males, regardless of weight. However it 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 اوضاع الجماع 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. As we can see, all countries are above the diagonal parity line , this means in all countries that a baby girl can be expected to live longer than a newborn boy.1

Interestingly, this chart shows that while the female advantage exists in all countries, global differences are significant. In Russia women are 10 years older than males; while in Bhutan the difference is just half a year.

The advantage women had in life expectancy was smaller in countries with higher incomes than it is now.
Let's take a look at how the female longevity advantage has changed in the course of time. The next chart compares the male and female lifespans at birth in the US during the time period between 1790 and 2014. Two aspects stand out.

First, there is an upward trend. Men and women 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.

Second, the gap is growing: Although the advantage of women in life expectancy used to be quite small however, it has grown significantly with time.

Using the option 'Change country by country' in the chart, confirm that the two points are also applicable to the other countries with available information: Sweden, France and the UK.