A journal, published by The Lancet, recently reported that women live longer than men. It’s not really breaking news, but every time we discuss this phenomenon, it gives men food for thought.
The life expectancy of Indian men, over the past two decades, has increased by 6.9 years, while women are living longer by 10.3 years.
Guinness World Records recently declared Jiroemon Kimura of Japan as the oldest man in history after he died at the ripe age of 116. The second oldest person is a woman, a year junior to Jiroemon. The next four oldest persons are all women! In India, on an average, women live longer by over four years.
But what are the reasons? Culture, genetics, occupation and other factors play a crucial role in prolonged living. Read on.
Crime doesn’t pay!
Men are more prone to indulge in criminal activities, leading to increased risk of dying from fights, shooting, stabbing and other dangerous criminal ventures. Men are also more likely to die by suicide, accidents. Living a peaceful, fight-free life will help you stick around longer!
Big isn’t always better
When it comes to longevity, bigger isn’t better! People who are over six feet tall run the risk of an early exit, compared to those who are average or shorter in height. This is true not just for humans, but also for most animal species, including fish, insects, primates and dog. A Great Dane will leave this world earlier than a Poodle!
Prone to heart disease
Higher levels of estrogen in women protect them from heart disease for 10 to 15 years longer than men. Estrogen raises good cholesterol (HDL) and lowers bad cholesterol (LDL), so it’s less prone to injury and inflammation. Chronic stress in men may also contribute to heart disease, as it indirectly elevates blood pressure, cholesterol and insulin.
Dangerous lifestyle habits
Excessive smoking, eating junk and drinking alcohol is a recipe for an early death. Although women indulge in such habits, it’s not in the extreme. They don’t go overboard and don’t get wasted!
Care-giving isn’t a man’s forte
Although men’s contribution to their homes and family has increased over the years, women are still the traditional household masters. Their age-old role as care-givers, doctors say, may add to their longevity. Women have genes that allow them to mature in many selective ways, which is better for the survival of the species.
Sadly, the rise in ‘healthy’ life expectancy has not been as spectacular as the increase in life expectancy. Consequently, people are living longer with ailments and disability.