None of us knows how much time we have on Earth. But what we does I know that in most societies around the world, women live longer than men on average.
In the US, the average life expectancy for women is 79.3 years compared to 73.5 years for men, according to a Postponed to December 2022 by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. But why?
We asked doctors for more insight, as well as tips to help everyone live longer. It turns out that there are several reasons that could explain why women live longer than men.
It starts with hormones.
Surprisingly, the hormone estrogen plays a big role in helping women live longer, experts told HuffPost. (At least until women go through menopause and their estrogen levels naturally drop.)
“Estrogen maintains healthy blood vessels by causing dilation (widening of blood vessels) and improving endothelial cell function,” he said. Dr. Robert Segal, cardiologist and founder of Manhattan Cardiology. “This can improve blood flow and reduce the risk of atherosclerosiswhich is the leading cause of heart disease.”
Another way this reproductive hormone helps women? can”improve cholesterol profiles by lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and raising HDL (good) cholesterol levels,” according to Segal.
He added that estrogen’s anti-inflammatory properties also help “reduce inflammation in blood vesselswhich could reduce the risk of chronic cardiovascular diseases” such as coronary heart disease, heart attack, stroke and heart failure.
Since they are cardiovascular diseases Number 1 cause of death for Americans, people with more estrogen have an advantage.
Men are more prone to risky behavior.
Another reason why women live longer than men is that they don’t engage in risky behavior as often. Dr. Rohit Vuppuluri, interventional cardiologist in Chicago, said that men are more likely to engage in social habits like tuxedo, drink alcohol, drug use and manufacturing bad food choices.
These behaviors “increase the risk of chronic diseases such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic kidney disease, liver cirrhosis and obesity,” he said. “All of these chronic diseases increase morbidity and ultimately can lead to increased mortality.”
Women choose healthy food more often.
Regular consumption of healthy, nutritious food can help you live longer, and women are more likely to do so than men, according to research.
Blanca Garcia, registered dietitian nutritionist at Healthcanal, says she sees women shopping for groceries more often, planning meals and seeking help from nutritionists to meet their nutritional needs.
She added: “I firmly believe that diet and exercise play an important role in a person’s longevity. Better food choices keep the body in balance, and movement keeps muscles and bones stronger.”
Segal pointed out that anyone who wins regular physical exercise they are more likely to have “better heart health, weight control and overall well-being, all of which can add years to your life.”
“Changes in eating and exercise habits, among other things, can help both men and women live longer and healthier lives,” he added.
Men suppress their emotions more often.
Yes, I feel things deeply can lead to longer life. Avigail Lev, licensed clinical psychologist and founder and director of the Bay Area CBT Center in California, believes that emotional suppression and shorter life expectancy are linked.
“Men are conditioned by society to deeply repress and repress their emotions,” she said. “Because of their emotional suppression and other factors, women tend to socially more intimate relationshipsgiving them support they can rely on.”
Dr. Naval Parikh, primary care physician and internist in Florida, agreed. “Women have a tendency they have larger social networks and stronger social ties, which can positively affect mental health,” he said. This support system means that women “have better mechanisms to cope with stress”.
Suppressing your emotions can increase stress, raise cortisol levels, negatively affect sleep, strange relationships and interpersonal connections, and increase the likelihood of mental health disorders, including trauma, depression and anxiety, according to Lev.
Women go to the doctor more often.
“Men are much more likely to dismiss any episodes of chest pain or shortness of breath as just a minor symptom that will go away over time, rather than seeking medical attention to find out if it’s something to worry about,” Vuppuluri said. “Men resist asking for help and continue to manage their complaints until they reach a dire situation, which then leads to worse medical outcomes.”
And for those men who does Go to the doctor? They don’t always listen to them or follow their advice. A 2017 study by the American Academy of Family Physicians found that up to half of men seeking medical attention they do not follow their doctor’s recommendations. These include failure to fill prescriptions, failure to take prescriptions as directed, failure to repeat tests for their condition, and failure to attend follow-up.
Vuppuluri said that “men are less likely to agree to take medication if they are not actively feeling worse.” So for conditions like hypertension, hyperlipidemia and diabetes mellitus, men are “much less compliant with medication because they often don’t feel the symptoms.” This can cause the development of irreversible symptoms such as organ damage or organ failure, according to Vuppulura.
Visits to the doctor, adherence to treatment plans and frequent check-ups can significantly affect longevity. Doing these things “can slow the growth of chronic diseases, such as heart problems, and help people live longer and be healthier overall,” according to Segal.
Being a woman simply does not guarantee a longer life. There are some innate advantages, but most of the factors that predict a person’s life expectancy are usually within their control. You exercise often, eat healthy food, go to the doctor, finding a support system and more can help anyone lead a healthier life ― for many years.