Why Do Women Live Longer than Men?

For years, female life expectancy has exceeded male life expectancy, and even though society and the work that women do is constantly changing, this gap remains.
Why Do Women Live Longer than Men?

Last update: 01 January, 2020

Why do women live longer than men? It isn’t true in all cases, of course. However, it’s a fact that, on average, women live 5% longer than men, and this is sure to generate some curiosity. And even more so when people discover the secrets of female longevity.

Why do women live longer than men?

In countries with longer life expectancy, the gap between the two sexes is more visible. An example of this is in China, Japan, and Iceland. In these countries, women have an average life span of 3 years longer than men. This fact has led to several theories that seek to explain the reason for this remarkable difference.

Several reasons have been given over the years to explain why women live longer than men. One of them is the traditional family lifestyle, where men worked to keep the family, while their wives stayed at home. This is a reason that has no validity today in many countries, due to the increasing equality of women in the workplace.

Linked with the above theory, it was formerly thought that since men were exposed to great physical strain, as well as excessive consumption of alcohol and tobacco, these things took a toll on their bodies more than on their female counterparts. However, this difference in life expectancy remains, even though these customs and vices have become more common among women.

Women have advantages in their chromosomes

The fact of the matter is that, despite these changes, women still live longer than men. This has motivated hundreds of scientists to carry out studies to explain women’s higher longevity.

Some even say that, in the absence of any other satisfactory conclusion, we have to deduce that men’s lower longevity is programmed by nature in some way!

Why Do Women Live Longer than Men?

Genetically speaking, men are more predisposed to cardiovascular disease, unlike women, who are more susceptible to endocrine problems. This is because women have two identical chromosomes – an extra one in case one fails. This is an extra form of defense that men don’t have in their XY chromosomes.

The fact is that women live longer due to several factors that swing in their favor when compared to men. For example, female hormones protect them from heart problems until they reach menopause. It’s only during their fourth decade of life that there’s a slight chance that they’ll begin to suffer from such disorders.

This benefit is obtained through the menstrual cycle, and this considerably increases a woman’s heart rate. It makes it seem that she’s doing moderate exercise even when she isn’t taking part in any type of sport. Improving the functioning of the heart helps to avoid heart attacks or other conditions. As a result, there is a longer life expectancy.

Mitochondria may play in women’s favor

These days, scientists believe that women live longer because of mitochondria. These are organelles that are found in almost all eukaryotic cells and are responsible for providing a significant part of the energy essential for cell activity. They do this by transforming the food they eat into ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate).

Some theories suggest that male mitochondria have undergone mutations throughout history, while in women they remain in perfect condition. This means there is less cellular respiration or energy delivery to the cells in men.

Similarly, these mutations are only transmitted from the mother to the male children. As this is a male hereditary factor, they are, therefore, more likely to suffer from disease and live fewer years than women.

Why Do Women Live Longer than Men?

Conclusion on why women live longer than men

It’s true that our biological make-up has predetermined that women live longer than men from the moment of conception. However, men have the possibility of exceeding those averages by improving their eating habits and exercise routines.

So, the only thing left to do is to look after yourself and lead a healthy life!

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.