Why Men Live Shorter Lives Than Women

Why Men Live Shorter Lives Than Women

why men die early?

Why do women outlive their husbands? This universal phenomenon is being widely researched. With life expectancy for women shooting up significantly to about 5.2 years longer than men, it's well worth probing this issue. Research has thrown up a few good reasons to understand this phenomenon. Here they are:

Men's Risky Behaviour:

Male animals and humans have one thing in common: they have to work hard for female attention, often engaging in risky behaviour, leading to death. So, it's not uncommon to find men dying due to car accidents, suicide or homicide. Besides, overall, men are bigger risk-takers than women. Not only do they take part in vigorous sporting activities and physically harmful ones, but those that also lead to death. And, more men fight wars than women in which they may die.

Men Have High-Risk Jobs:

men die high-risk jobs

Often, men die while working, thereby reducing their lifespan. According to a report, the three most dangerous jobs are of a pilot, logger and fisherman. In the US, men in these occupations suffered workplace injuries 60 times higher than men in other occupations. Other professionals in risky jobs include farmers, iron and steel workers, roofers, etc.

Men's Lifestyle Habits are Dangerous:

Apart from the above risky behaviour, men also indulge in lifestyle habits that are injurious to health, and can also lead to death. For instance, they drink, do drugs and get involved in violence and rash behaviour.

Female Deaths at Childbirth Have Reduced Greatly:

In the 20th century, maternal mortality improved greatly, so more women had safer deliveries than earlier. Before this, it was common for women to die during childbirth for one reason or another.

Men Lead Criminal Lives:

When men take to crime, they automatically risk their lives due to fights, unlawful activities or homicide. By leading a lawful life, men can live longer.

Men lead criminal lives

Men Don't Have The Advantage of The “Jogging Female Heart”:

The fact that a woman experiences escalated heart rate in the latter part of her menstrual cycle gives her the same benefits as moderate exercise would. This gives her the benefit of experiencing heart disease at a later part of life. This is a benefit that men don't experience.

Men are Bigger Built Than Women:

When it comes to longevity, bigger doesn't always correspond with longer. While taller people, say men, have more cells in their systems, it means that when it comes to disease, they develop more dangerous mutations. Besides, larger frames also burn more energy, which only increase the normal wear and tear within body tissues. Lastly, men being taller than women, they stand to experience more long-duration damage.

Men are More Prone to Disease:

Right since birth, men experience a high mortality rate, more than women, something that dogs them all through life. They also don't grow mentally as quickly as their female counterparts, which translates directly to their intelligence. They are also more prone to dying from cancer, heart disease, cirrhosis of the liver, suicide, injuries and respiratory cancer.

Men are More Prone to Heart Disease:

Men are more prone to disease

Women remain protected from heart disease due to estrogen for about 15 years longer than men. The benefit of women having estrogen is that it increases the good cholesterol levels and lowers the bad. It also makes the inner lining of the arteries in the heart more flexible, thereby making any injury and inflammation associated with atherosclerosis and plaque formation. However, men experience intense stress that has a direct link with heart disease, blood pressure, insulin and cholesterol, which contribute to the hardening of the arteries. To counter this, men must check their cholesterol and blood pressure levels early in life and level work to normalize it. They should also switch to eating a Mediterranean diet, exercise regularly, quit smoking and keep their weight down.

Men Can Live Longer: Here's How: Here are Some Ways in Which Men Can Lead Longer Lives:

1. Tell Your Doctor Frankly of all Your Problems:

When you're with your doctor, remember to leave your sense of embarrassment and your ego out of his door. Women, unlike men, learn at an early age to be frank with their doctors, no matter how embarrassing it is. With men, problems like erectile dysfunction must be discussed with the doctor, as it is linked with heart disease and diabetes. You should also go in for breast checks and have a prostate self-check.

2. Check Testosterone Levels:

When you turn 30, your testosterone levels fall by one percent every year, leading to a fall in muscle mass, libido, concentration, memory, muscle mass, vitality and ability to exercise for long. Since this has a direct impact on the quality of their lives, it also leads to depression. Over time, it raises their risk for heart disease.

3. Find Out How to Increase Your Immunity:

Men's immunity levels aren't as high as women's, resulting in them dying from seven out of 10 commonest infections, such as STDs and TB. Men should take a tetanus shot every 10 years and use a condom.

4. Treat Depression:

Male depression is on the rise, though its symptoms aren't easily apparent to everyone. Depression can lead to risk of different kinds of disease which cause male mortality. Men are also prone to hot flashes that are associated with women, due to andropause, which shows a decrease in testosterone. If depression isn't treated, it can lead to death. To avoid such a situation, men should discuss their problems with their doctors.

Male depression

5. Monitor Teenage and Young Males:

Teenaged and young men usually lead reckless lives, making themselves sitting ducks for serious injury or even death. At the same time, male hormones and testosterone make for a deadly cocktail in men's systems. For this reason, their lifestyle activities and habits need close monitoring and tweaking where necessary.

6. What's Your Risk for Heart Disease?

It's not unusual for men to die of heart disease, leaving young families bereft. Believing this to be normal and something that can happen to anyone, it's good if men assess their risk for heart disease and any other disease that they might be predisposed to.

Besides, men don't get the protection of estrogen as women do. So, if you have a history of heart disease, you should take precautions by the time you reach your 30s.

For these reasons, women outlive men. If men want to break this cycle, they can use the above methods to achieve greater longevity than women.

Reviewed By:

Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)

Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad