Why is the average lifespan of women longer than men? When looking at the secretion of estrogen, which is usually called a female hormone, and testosterone, a type of male hormone, women secrete more estrogen and less testosterone than men.
Estrogen has been recognized to protect the body from heart disease, and on the contrary, male hormones have been proven to increase the risk of developing various diseases such as breast, cervical, and prostate cancer. Also, according to a research team at the University of Southern Denmark, testosterone is known to be associated with risky behavior and high aggression.
It is argued that male and female chromosomal differences are also related to the length of lifespan. Females inherit the X chromosome from both mother and father, but males inherit the X chromosome from the mother and the Y chromosome from the father. Therefore, diseases caused by mutations on the X chromosome, such as patients with hemophilia and Duchenne-type muscular atrophy, do not develop in women unless both X chromosomes are mutated, but in men, if one X chromosome is mutated, the disease does not occur. Because of this, men are more likely to develop the disease.
A survey of 11,000 Catholic Church clergy from 1890 to 1995 found that women had an average lifespan of one year longer than men when they reached adulthood. The clergy lifestyle is basically the same, and both men and women avoid risky behavior, so the year difference is attributed to biological reasons. In addition, if we take into account whether the survey is conducted on adult men and women, the difference in life expectancy for biological reasons can be considered as two years.
Also, on average, the difference in lifespan between men and women is 4 to 5 years, and if the difference due to biological reasons is 2 years, the rest is due to social factors. A CDC study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that men were twice as likely to consume excess alcohol as women. Another study reported that 35% of men worldwide smoke, while only 6% of women smoke. In addition, it has been found that women receive examinations at 33% more medical institutions than men. It is argued that these social factors influence the difference in life expectancy between men and women.
However, the gap in life expectancy between men and women does not continue to spread. The difference in life expectancy between men and women in the United States has been on the rise since the 1970s, but around 2005 the difference in life expectancy started to decrease. There is also an analysis that Lee Won-eun is the cause of the increased opportunity for women to smoke. Related information can be found here.