Average life expectancy for women is statistically proven to be more than for men. What is the reason behind it? Does it mean that women’s health is taken seriously in most societies? Let’s understand what the average lifespan is.
Life expectancy is how long a given organism is expected to live based on the year they were born, their age, and other such factors, including gender.
Women are statistically proven to have a higher average life expectancy than men. The advancements made in women’s health and lifestyles have played a huge role in increasing the average life expectancy for women.
There are several reasons why women tend to live longer than men, and there are also several leading causes of death in men and women worldwide.
Many of the top reasons for death can be prevented with healthy lifestyles. Over the past few decades, many advancements in the medical field have improved people’s quality of life.
Many discoveries, particularly about unhealthy behaviors such as smoking and drinking, have also greatly helped improve people’s health, thus allowing them to live longer.
People nowadays live much longer than ever before. It is important that we continue on the cycle that we are on, so that we can improve the quality of life for everyone in the world, and that people can live for as long as possible.
Why Is Average Life Expectancy for Women Longer?
In almost every country and society in the world, women have a longer life expectancy than men. In the United States, the average life expectancy for men is 73.4 years, whereas the average life expectancy for women is 80.1 years. Some countries have a much larger gap in the average life expectancies than others.
The difference in life expectancy between men and women can be explained through several different reasons. Since the worldwide average rate of boys and girls born is 100 girls to 105 boys, it makes sense that men would have shorter lifespans; it would biologically ensure that there are the same amount of men and women at reproductive ages.
The other reasons for this are not only biological ones, but social ones as well. Women tend to participate in fewer negative behaviors that would impact their lifespan than men do, and there have also been many advancements in the fields of women’s health and lifestyles.
Women’s negative conditions in the past have prevented women from living the fullest and living for as long as they had the potential to. There are also fewer women in the military, law enforcement, and other professions where one’s life is at higher risk than others.
During the first year of life, male mortality is approximately 25 to 30 percent higher than the rate of female mortality. This tends to be because genetic mutations in females do not affect them as badly as in males, especially if the mutation occurred on the sex chromosomes.
Women, having the XX chromosome, will have another X chromosome which will remain unaffected, whereas men only have one X chromosome, and therefore their overall health will be affected.
Female hormones and pregnancy also help women to live longer. Breastfeeding has proven to help women’s health. Estrogen helps to eliminate bad cholesterol and can protect against heart disease.
But, testosterone can lead to violence and risk-taking. Therefore, women can be hormonally more inclined to live longer than men, as their natural behaviors may not be as aggressive.
Women overall tend to take better care of their bodies than men do, because of the pressure to stay young and beautiful. Men feel the need to be strong and powerful, therefore, they often put their bodies through many risks and challenges.
Women tend to practice in activities that are better for their overall health and longevity and tend to benefit more from modern medical advancements. These are some of the reasons why the average life expectancy for women is longer than for men.
Statistics Regarding Life Expectancy
Life expectancy worldwide has increased more and more over the past few decades. Japan has the highest life expectancy rate in the world for women, with women’s average life expectancy being 86.8 years.
Switzerland has the highest life expectancy for men, at 81.3 years. The top ten countries with the highest life expectancies for women are, according to the 2015 list by the World Health Organization (WHO):
- Japan: 86.8 years
- Singapore: 86.1 years
- Spain: 85.5 years
- South Korea: 85.5 years
- France: 85.4 years
- Switzerland: 85.3 years
- Australia: 84.8 years
- Italy: 84.8 years
- Israel: 84.3 years
- Iceland: 84.1 years
The bottom ten countries with lowest average life expectancies for women are, according to Borgen Magazine:
- Central African Republic: 44.5 years
- Malawi: 43.82 years
- Djibouti: 43.37 years
- Liberia: 41.8 years
- Sierra Leone: 41.24 years
- Mozambique: 41.18 years
- Lesotho: 40.4 years
- Zambia: 38.63 years
- Angola: 38.2 years
- Swaziland: 31.9 years
Some of the reasons for lower life expectancy in these countries include famine, governments being too poor to spend money on their citizens, corrupt government officials, lower levels of education, lower availability of clean water, and AIDS being more widespread. Of course, these are all preventable causes, but some countries do not have the same resources as others.
Causes of Death
The top ten causes of death in women, according to a report conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control, are: heart disease, cancer (particularly: lung cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer), stroke, respiratory illnesses in the lungs (chronic obstructed pulmonary disease, emphysema, and bronchitis), Alzheimer’s, unintentional injuries such as falling, poisoning, suffocation, fire/burns, and motor vehicle crashes, diabetes, influenza, kidney disease, and blood poisoning.
In the United States in 2017, the top ten causes of death in women were: heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, accidents, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease, and suicide.
Over 50 percent of deaths that occurred in America over the past year were due to heart disease, cancer, and chronic lower respiratory disease. And the causes written in the whole list are responsible for 75 percent of deaths in the United States.
Many people have joined the fight to combat heart disease in women. It has been discovered that heart disease symptoms in women are different than those in men. Jaw pain, instead of chest pain, is a common example.
Heart disease is the most common reason why women die each year, with one in three women dying from it. If people are aware of the different causes and symptoms of heart attacks and heart disease, it will be much easier to prevent it and to prevent it from being fatal.
Some of the most common symptoms of heart attacks are chest pain or discomfort, discomfort or pain in the upper stomach, neck, jaw, arms, or upper body, nausea, breathlessness, lightheadedness, and cold sweats.
There are several ways to prevent heart disease and to keep the heart as healthy as possible, some of which include quitting smoking, reducing and managing stress, avoiding alcohol, using medication safely, having a diet which is high in vegetables and fresh fruits, and low in refined sugars, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and salt, and exercising regularly, at least 150 minutes per week.
Some of these are easier to do than others, but with motivation and taking the proper steps, it can greatly help improve women’s health.
Cancer is also a leading cause of death in women. While virtually anyone can develop cancer, it is more likely to occur in those who are older, those who have genetic tendencies, and those who are exposed to carcinogens, such as those who smoke cigarettes. The leading cancers in women are lung and bronchus, breast cancer, and colon and rectum cancer. Some of the leading causes of cancer in more developed countries are poor nutrition, weight problems, and being inactive. Also, consistent consumption of alcohol and cigarettes greatly increases one’s risk.
Most of these causes of death can be preventable, so it is essential that everyone- men and women- take the proper steps necessary to ensure that they stay healthy and live as long as possible.
In the United States, one of the leading causes of a lower life expectancy is living in areas with high levels of pollution. One’s life can be shortened anywhere from four to ten years after living in such places.
Living near unhealthy air, water, and soil, is one of the top reasons for health problems in many Americans. While changing this may not be as easy, it is possible, and governments and politicians should take this into account, if they desire to increase their country’s life expectancy.
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