Women, We’re Living Longer Than Men!

Contributed by: Ann Stone, ANP 

WomenLivingLongerLife expectancy in the U.S. is at an all-time high, according to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report found that on average, Americans are living until they’re 78.8 years and that women are living longer than men.

A girl born in 2012 can expect to live to 81.2 years – almost five years longer than a boy born in the same year, who’s expected to live until 76.4 years. So why are women expected to live longer than men? The study found it’s not necessarily because of their gender but more so because of their behavior. Here are the five reasons the report cited for women living longer than men:

Females are tougher in utero

Boys are much more likely to develop a prenatal infection or other issues while in the womb than girls. This commonly happens because prenatally, girls develop physically and mentally faster than boys.

Women are less likely to be daredevils

Men like to take risks more than women so much so that unintentional injuries are the third leading cause of death in men and the sixth for women. This behavior can be blamed on their sex. The frontal lobes of the brain – the ones that deal with responsibility and risk calculation – develop much more slowly in males than females, resulting in them wanting to take risks more than women.

Women succumb to heart disease later

Heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S. for both women and men. While millions of men and women suffer from this deadly disease, men are more likely to develop it and die from it earlier in life than women. Women are protected from heart disease until menopause, since their bodies produce estrogen, which helps keep arteries strong and flexible to fight off heart disease.

Women have stronger social networks

It’s no secret that women, more so than men, like to have talk about their feelings and any stress in their life. According to a study conducted in 2010 by Brigham Young University, people with strong social connections have a 50% lower chance of dying than those who don’t. The one exception to the study is that married men tend to live longer than non-married men because of the social connection.

Women take better care of their health

Women are more likely to see a doctor on a regular basis than men. Even with higher mortality rates from several different diseases, men tend not to make their health a top priority for a number of reasons including finances, time and pride.

Regardless of your gender, taking care of yourself, both mentally and physically will help you live a longer and happier life.

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