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Why Do Women Live Longer Than Men?

By Beth Brown, 9:00 am on

In every country worldwide, women live longer lives than men. In the U.S., the current life expectancy for women is 81.2 years compared to 76.4 years for men. Palm Beach senior care professionals discuss some of the reasons behind why women tend to outlive men.

Lifestyle Choices

Many factors that influence a person’s longevity are tied to choices they make, such as the decision to smoke or drink alcohol at immoderate levels. In general, fewer women are smokers, and those who are smoke fewer cigarettes than male smokers. The same goes for alcohol. Men drink more frequently and tend to prefer drinks with a higher alcohol content, which can cause health concerns.

Healthcare Decisions

Women are more likely to make informed and timely healthcare decisions, leading to better prognoses when they have a condition such as cancer or diabetes. They tend to take preventative care more seriously. Women are also more likely to follow treatment regimens and be proactive about their health. These decisions lead to women leading longer and healthier lives.

Exposure to Violence

Men are more likely to die at younger ages from violence, including from criminal activity, participation in warfare, and suicide. Even though some of these factors mainly affect male deaths between the ages of 16 and 24, even in later years men are more likely to die violently than women. In fact, after the age of 55, men commit suicide at a rate almost 4 times that of women.

Influence of Hormones

The primary male hormone is testosterone. This hormone is frequently linked with risk-taking behavior and cardiovascular disease, both of which contribute heavily to the lower life expectancy of men. By contrast, an important female hormone, estrogen, is associated with lower cholesterol and has an antioxidant effect. The negative medical and behavioral influences of testosterone can lead to poorer health outcomes for men compared to women.

Making healthy food and lifestyle choices can help increase longevity for both genders. If your loved one needs help making healthy choices, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of live-in and respite care Palm Beach families can count on. Our professional caregivers can help your loved one exercise and prepare healthy meals in addition to assisting with a variety of daily tasks. Contact a Care Manager at 561.429.8292 to learn about our flexible elder care plans, which can be tailored to meet your loved one’s needs.