7 Reasons Women Live Longer Than Men
There has long been a debate over whether the females or males of our species are far superior to the other. But, according to scientific study and general psychology, that question already has an answer. It all comes down to how we age, and the truth is that women just seem to live longer.
The real question to that is “Why do men live shorter lives than women?” Here are a couple of answers as to why:
1. Females are Tougher From The Beginning
Before humans are born, many traits and features develop in utero that will stick with them. It seems that just like with puberty, female in utero develop certain traits faster than their male counterparts. And unfortunately, males are twice as likely to suffer from prenatal infection or other health concerns.
“They’re also slower to develop physically than girls prenatally, which means they’re more likely to die if they are preemies due to underdeveloped lung or brain development,” states Dr. Marianne Legato, MD, professor emerita of clinical medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians.
2. Women are Less Likely To Display Risky Behavior
As humans, we all love feeling the adrenaline rush through our bloodstream on some level. It is human nature to seek such things out. The difference between men and women, though, is that women are far more mindful of the dangers that come to certain activities.
Unsurprisingly, unexpected injury is in the top five leading causes of death in men, according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control). For women, that cause drops down to sixth leading cause. This, Dr. Legato says, can also be explained by biology: “The frontal lobes of the brain – which deal with responsibility and risk calculation – develop much more slowly in males than females.”
3. Women Succumb to Heart Disease Later
Heart disease is an issue the human race has struggled to deal with for hundreds of years. But technology has greatly improved the treatment of such a condition. While it is a leading cause of death for men and women, men in their early 30s and 40s are the most likely group to develop the health problem and die from it.
Women, luckily, seem to develop heart disease or related issues an entire decade later than men. Dr. Legato explains that “they’re protected from it until menopause since their bodies churn out estrogen, which helps keep arteries strong and flexible.”
4. Women Have Stronger Social Networks
Whether you’re happy, sad, or you just don’t want to watch that new movie alone, friends are great to have around. Surround yourself with the right friends and your chances of dying from health complications drop by 50%, says a Brigham Young University study from 2010.
“Most men tend to hold their stress and worries close to their chest, while women tend to reach out and talk to others,” clarifies Dr. Legato.
For married men, the connection to their partner seems enough to increase their longevity.
5. Women Take Better Care of Their Health
This is not a surprise and from what I’ve seen in my family, women are far more conscious of needing to visit the doctor when health problems arise. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has found that “men are 24% less likely than women to have visited a doctor within the past year and are 22% more likely to skip out on cholesterol testing.”
“Men often deny illness; they minimize symptoms because they don’t want to go to a doctor and find out something is wrong,” points out Legato.
6. Men Age Faster Than Women
That’s right, folks. Just because a man and woman are born on the same day doesn’t mean they’ll look the same age. It is because of the energy-producing organelle known as mitochondria. When this part of the cells mutate, it increases the rate of aging and will have an effect on outward appearance.
Interestingly enough, those same mutations don’t affect women in the same way. For females, the best genes are passed to the next generation. With males, those possible mitochondrial mutations stack up as time goes on.
7. Men’s Immune Systems Age Faster Than Women
It is natural for everyone’s white blood cells to drop as they age. Men may have a higher lymphocyte count when they are younger, but as they age, those numbers even out to match women.
Be they B Cells, T Cells, or red blood cells, as men age the numbers for each of these drops drastically compared to women.