General Article Why do women live longer than men?

Topic Selected: Ageing Book Volume: 378

Women usually live longer than men. Why is this – and are modern day vices, such as smoking and drinking, reducing the longevity gap?

By Kayhan Nouri-Aria

Life expectancy in the UK is currently 79.6 years for men and 83.2 years for women. So why do women tend to live longer? 

Male vs female hormones

  • Young males - teens to early twenties - are fuelled with higher levels of the testosterone hormone and this is a contributory factor to men being more aggressive and competitive. Competitiveness among men also increased when attractive women are present. This results in young men taking more risks than women of a similar age, such as riding motor bikes without helmets or getting into fights – thereby increasing their risk of an early death. 
  • Testosterone works closely with cholesterol in the body and this can cause problems in later life for men. Research by the Endocrine Society, reported in 2015, has shown that high levels of testosterone leads the body to produce lower levels of ‘goo...

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