Women Live Longer Than Men

Currently women live longer than men.  Don’t believe me?  In an article published on Scientific America  male life expectancy was 73.4 years for males and 80.1 years for females, a difference of 6.7 years, whereas in France it was 7.8 years and in the U.K., 5.3 years. The discrepancy was much greater in some countries, with the difference in Russia reaching more than 12 years, but in others, such as India (0.6 year) or Bangladesh (0.1 year), it was much less. Why do women live longer than men?  To understand this we must actually look back in history. The V the available data from rich countries shows women didn’t live longer than men in the 19th century so why with today’s advancing Technologies is there more of a gap between the genders facts are limited and we only have partial answers.

Contributing Factors

We know that behaviors  like smoking and drinking are more more common in men than women.

Biological Factors:

There is also biological factors such as the differences in chromosomes and hormones between men and women that can affect a person’s longevity. Men tend to have more fat surrounding their organs whereas women tend to have more fat sitting directly under the skin this difference is determined by estrogen and the presence of the second X chromosome in females this affects the longevity because fat surrounding the organs increases the risk for cardiovascular disease.

Environmental Factors:

Lastly environmental factors have changed dramatically since the 19th century. Women are more prone to non life-threatening illnesses. However in the 19th century the illnesses they were prone to were life-threatening.  Advances in technology have also saved the lives of women during childbirth.

Longevity and Alheimer’s Disease

All these factors contribute to the fact that women live longer than men we don’t know exactly how strong the relative contribution of each of these factors is. there are many factors the play into this reason. So does living longer explain why more women have Alzheimer’s disease then men?  Researchers used to believe but this was the case. However the statistics of women Contracting the disease prove that there is more than just longevity at play. By the age of 65, women have a 1 in 6 chance of developing Alzheimer’s, compared to a 1 in 11 chance for men. Additionally, out of the 5 million people living with Alzheimer’s in the U.S., 3.2 million are women. Research has found that women in their 60s are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s than to develop breast cancer. In all fairness though longevity is a determining factor for Contracting Alzheimer’s disease.

Estrogen’s Role In Alzheimer’s Disease

That being said does estrogen play a role in protecting the mind from damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease? According to an article published in 2010  by Viña J, Lloret A.,  the answer is yes. “Since estrogenic compounds protect against mitochondrial toxicity of amyloid-beta, estrogenic action may be important in protecting cells from amyloid-beta toxicity and suggests a possible treatment or prevention strategy for AD.  As women age they produce less estrogen thus losing the important protection from amyloid-beta toxicity. Unfortunately, to date, clinical trials with Ginkgo biloba and other estrogenic therapies have not proved successful in treating Alzheimer’s disease. As such, more experiments and clinical trials are indeed warranted to find conditions in which estrogenic compounds may be useful to prevent or treat Alzheimer’s disease.  Researchers are still considering other gender-related factors to explain the increasing Gap between men and women Contracting Alzheimer’s disease.  Alzheimer’s has generally been living in your body 20 years before it is diagnosed. We know there are certain genes that can indicate a risk factor for Alzheimer’s. It will be interesting to see what new research emerges and what answers we can receive.