Study: That's why men live shorter than women

Women have a longer life expectancy

The World Health Organization (WHO) is constantly concerned with the well-being of the world population. The WHO has recently dealt with the question of why men die earlier than women everywhere in the world. Some findings can be derived from their global study. In the following article we try to answer the question.

Amazingly, more boys are born

In its current study, the WHO reports that significantly more boys than girls are born each year. The WHO estimates that more than 141 million babies will be born worldwide in 2019. At birth there is still a clear boy surplus, 73 million of the newborns will be boys and only 68 million girls.

However, because men die earlier than women, this relationship changes in the course of life. The difference has evened out in the age group of 50 to 54 year olds (in 2016). In the 60- to 64-year-olds, the women were already in the majority, here the researchers counted only 95 men per 100 women. This development continued in the older age groups.

Women not only have the privilege of a longer life expectancy - they also stay healthy longer

The WHO reports that life expectancy is increasing worldwide. Boys born today have an average age of almost 70 years and girls 74 years old. That is about five years more than in 2000.

The healthy years that people spend without disease continue to grow. Accordingly, babies born today can look forward to an average of 63.3 healthy years of life. But women also have a clear advantage here, because the number of healthy life years for women is approximately 64.8 years and for men only 62 years.

There are many reasons for an earlier male death

The shorter life expectancy of men has many different reasons, the researchers explain in their study. Of the 40 most common causes of death, 33 have a greater impact on men's life expectancy.

There are reasons that can be explained genetically. For example, processes associated with the X chromosome explain that girls have a stronger immune system and survive childhood more often. In 2017, boys were 11% more likely to die before their fifth birthday than girls.

Other causes are related to gender roles. Since men are more likely to work in the transport sector, they are more likely to be victims of accidents than women. From the age of 15, the risk for men to die in a traffic accident is more than twice as high as that of the female sex.

The differences are not as serious in poor countries as in rich ones

It was found that the differences in life expectancy between men and women are smaller in poorer regions. Above all, this is due to the dangers associated with pregnancy. To date, in low-income countries, one in 41 women dies from pregnancy or childbirth. In high-income countries, one in 3300 women is affected.
In addition, infectious diseases kill more people in poor countries, but they affect men and women equally.

In rich countries, however, the differences in life expectancy can be explained more by environmental factors and an unhealthy lifestyle. In countries with a high income, the most alcohol is drunk and smoked the most in a global comparison. Men have a significantly larger share in this than women. According to the study, they smoke more than women and also consume four times as much alcohol.

The greatest potential to increase life expectancy for men is to change their lifestyle when it comes to tobacco and alcohol consumption and a healthy diet, reports the WHO.

Murders and suicides are also a factor

Globally, most murders occur in relation to the size of the population in the American WHO region, which includes North and Central and South America. In the WHO European region, which also includes Russia, the suicide rate is highest in a worldwide comparison.

There is also a gender difference in these two factors. According to global data, the risk of a man killing himself is 75 percent higher than that of a woman. In addition, men die four times more often than women.

Men care less about their health

It can also be observed that men usually get help later than women who suffer from the same diseases. Infectious diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis are often diagnosed with a delay in men and thus treated later. This means that they develop complications with their weakened bodies more often and die of AIDS more often than women, according to the researchers. Men, in particular, should therefore be better informed about clinical pictures and the need to see a doctor. (fm)

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