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Why do women live longer than men?

In almost all countries, women live longer than men. For instance, in the United States, the average life expectancy at birth is about 79 years for females and 73 years for males.

Why this is no one knows for sure. What we do know is that there is no one particular reason. There are a variety of factors that contribute to the overall statistics. Some of them are:

  • For much of their life, women produce estrogen which helps protect them against circulatory diseases, such as heart conditions and strokes.
  • On the average, men have greater muscle mass than women. Having more muscle creates a higher metabolic rate, leading to a greater turnover of cells, and some types of cells are limited as to how many times they can reproduce without damage.
  • More men than women drink and smoke.
  • Because men have more aggressive and competitive natures, they tend to have more dangerous jobs, play rougher sports, and take more physical risks.
  • Women are more likely to undergo routine medical tests, increasing the chances of diagnosing and treating potentially fatal diseases early. Women also seek medical attention more readily when they have a problem.
  • Men who cook for themselves use less nutritious foods than do women. (Men: add more fruits and vegetables to your diet.)