In Australia, an average boy born in 2016 could expect to live to 80, while a baby girl born at the same time could expect to live until closer to 85. In America, an average man lives to age 76, while the average woman in America lives to age 81, according to the latest CDC figures. There is a similar gap in life expectancy between men and women around the world. And a woman’s extra years tend to be healthy ones. The World Health Organization’s, have found that American men can look forward to 67 healthy years, while American women will enjoy 70 years of “full health.” As we know, environmental, biological, and behavioral factors are all responsible for women’s longer life compared to men.
There is evidence that states that a man’s biology, sex hormone testosterone, may lead to the kind of trouble that could shorten a man’s life. Research from Duke University has found that elevated testosterone levels are associated with risky behaviours. Experts say testosterone may reduce a man’s lifespan in other ways. Male sex hormones decrease immune function and increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Estrogen in women appears to be protective as it has shown that estrogen can prevent the kind of DNA damage that leads to disease. There is also evidence that estrogen can help maintain normal, healthy cell function.
A woman’s hormones may offer her some added lifespan benefits than a man’s hormones.
Women suffer from illnesses which are less likely to kill them like arthritis, migraines, and asthma. These conditions may lead to poor health, but don’t increase a woman’s risk of premature or early death.
But men suffer from health conditions that can kill them. For example, men have more fat (visceral fat) surrounding their organs than women. This visceral fat often causes coronary heart disease, the leading underlying cause of death for Australian men.
Behaviours that lead to an earlier death are more common in men than women. Accidental deaths, including those caused by transport accidents, assault, poisoning, falls and drowning, are particularly high among young males aged 15-24. In 2018, deaths from road injuries were twice as high in men as women, and suicide death rates were 75 percent higher in men. Factors such as smoking, drinking, and unhealthy food habits are found higher in men. These habits lead to often fatal illnesses, including stroke and type 2 diabetes, and are also risk factors for dementia.
In many countries, child mortality, also known as child death, is higher among boys than girls. In poor countries, child mortality is high; sex differences in mortality are an important factor in causing differences in life expectancy. But in rich countries, fewer children die, and the sex differences in child death are minimal. The male disadvantage in infant mortality cannot be explained.
Men’s attitude towards health care
The report shows that in cases where men and women face the same disease, men ignore available health services more often than women. In countries where HIV is more relatable in the general population, men are less likely to take an HIV test or medications. They are more likely to die from AIDS-related illnesses. Males with TB symptoms are less interested in seeking proper care.
Life expectancy in low-income countries
The gap between men and women narrows in low-income countries, where women often lack access to health services. Women die from a maternal cause in these countries, compared to women in high-income countries. From 2000 and 2016, life expectancy at birth has increased for both men and women combined. But babies born in low-income countries, their life expectancy is still 18 years lower than those born in high-income countries. Most people in wealthy countries live a; nearly one in three deaths in poor countries are of children under five years old.
None of us has control over death, but we can change and can reduce the risk of dying earlier from a preventable chronic disease by improving our lifestyle. Women should also work towards these goals for a long and healthy life, too.