Dr Art Hister – Why Women Live Longer

Here’s a poser for which there are no easy answers, although there’s a Nobel Prize in it for the person who comes up with a way to counteract it: why do women outlive men?

This is true in every single country in the world (I believe that the Maldives, wherever those are – or that is – was the last place in the world, according to WHO, where men still outlived women. But that reversed sometime last year, much to the chagrin, no doubt of Maldivean men).

Here in Canada, by the way, the difference in life expectancy between men and women is just under 5 years, a gap that has narrowed a bit over the last decade, and each time the new statistics come out, some headlines (particularly from more liberal publications and media groups) imply that this narrowing is actually not a good thing for women, in that it means we are doing a better job at keeping men alive than we are doing at keeping women alive.

Speaking as man, though, I say, “Hey, it’s about time we started doing that.”

Anyways, all this was brought up because a survey from New York City found that while women in the Big Apple can expect to live to 82 (the overall American life expectancy for women is 81), men in Gotham live only to 76 on average.

But here’s the thing: the researchers believe that most of that gap is due to preventable causes. In other words, men in NYC die much earlier from all sorts of things they can actually do something about, something that I think is also true for men in every culture and every country.

These preventable factors include: heart disease (90% of heart attacks are linked to poor lifestyle habits), AIDS, murder (this is New York, after all), obesity (a staggering 71% of men in NYC are overweight or obese compared to only 57% of women) , poor nutrition, being sedentary (more than NYC women, clearly), and (this is a big one for Americans, where health care costs so much, although every male should think about this one because men are reluctant in general to follow health advice or to see a doctor regularly) not attending a health care professional on a regular basis.

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