We finally know why women live longer than men (but in less good health)

In most countries of the world, including France, women have a much higher life expectancy than men. However, they live in poorer health than men. What does that mean ?

Among mammal species, females live longer than males and humans are no exception to this rule. In our country, in 2023, the life expectancy of women it was estimated at 85.7 years compared to 80 years for men. In terms of longevity, gender inequality is clearly not a debate. But what can explain this observation? Many studies have been done on the subject and now we know why women live longer than men.

Life expectancy: why do women live longer?

Biological benefits

Man and woman are not biologically constituted in the same way. Indeed, women’s biological constitution gives them a significant advantage that extends their life expectancy. Female hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, strengthen a woman’s immune system because they act as antioxidants. As a result, women are less prone to cardiovascular diseases than men.

On the other hand, testosterone, which is the male hormone par excellence, presents health risks if the level is high. Indeed, high levels of testosterone in men can have a negative impact on their life expectancy, because it can lead to various diseases such as prostate cancer. In addition, women’s physiology slows down the aging of tissues and the decline of their immune functions.

A better immune system

A study conducted by Japanese researchers showed that women have a better immune system than men. As part of this study, 356 men and women aged 20 underwent tests to analyze their immune response. It appears that white blood cells and cytokines decline less rapidly in women.
Also, NK cells that accompany normal aging are more present in women. The latter therefore have a better immune system than men. This explains why in our country there are more centenarians female than male. In 2023, The world stated that 86% of centenarians in France are female.

Better lifestyle

Women undoubtedly have a better lifestyle. They pay more attention to their health, their figure and are more concerned about hygiene measures. In general, women have healthier and better lifestyles habits only men. The latter very often adopt risky behaviors, such as driving at high speed, smoking or using drugs. At the same time, according to Statista, the suicide rate among men is three times higher than among women.

Life expectancy: a healthy life shorter than that of men

More women than men with disabilities

Women live longer than men, that’s a fact. However, the latter actually live less long, without disability, than men. These are the results of a study carried out on a global scale, we learned Slate. Unlike men, who represent the majority of people with life-threatening illnesses, women suffer more from non-fatal illnesses. So they live longer, but their health is impaired by mental, muscular and many other problems. In other words, a 90-year-old woman will have more health problems than a man of the same age.

Specific health needs

Female longevity does not negate the fact that women have specific health care needs. Their physiology is different from that of men and they have poorer health. It is therefore important to have public health policies that take into account the specific needs of each gender. The biological constitution of the woman gives it a longevity advantage certain However, the specificity of their health needs requires adequate care measures. Unfortunately, in our country, women are less well off sustained only men.

The need for a gender health policy

The health of women and men is already at the center of concerns in modern medicine. However, it remains important to obtain more data by sex and gender. This reduces the minor health problems that women meet as they age. In addition, the data broken down by sex and gender also allow us to understand why the mortality risk among trans people is twice as high as the rest of the population.

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