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Women Outliving Men Around the World, Yet the Reasons Why Are Concerning

A recent report by the World Health Organization has revealed that women around the world are still consistently outliving men, even though the average life expectancy has increased by five-and-a-half years since the turn of the century.

The reasoning behind this prolonged difference in age can be found in an increased rate of homicide, road accidents, suicide, and cardiovascular disease. In addition, men stereotypically have differing attitudes than women about how to handle their healthcare.

For example, in countries where HIV or tuberculosis is common, men are less likely to take the tests or seek treatment. Out of the 40 leading causes of death, 33 contribute heavily to men’s life expectancy over women’s.

Let’s break this down a little more.

  1.     Cardiovascular Disease
  • The probability of a 30-year-old man dying from a non-communicable disease, like a heart condition, before the age of 70 is 44 percent higher than a woman of the same age.
  • Women still suffer from heart attacks, but at a lower rate and at an older age.
  • There are several theories about why men suffer more, including having jobs with more physical activity and limited ways to express emotional stress in the workplace.
  • Men with certain body types that carry their fat in an “apple” shape are also at a higher risk for heart disease.
  1.     Suicide
  1.     Road Injuries
  • Death from road injuries is more than twice as high in men than in women over the age of 15.
  • One reason for this is that men statistically drive more miles than women: 15,000 to women’s 10,000 on average.
  • Men are also more likely to drive drunk, resulting in fatal crashes
  1.    Homicide
  • Male mortality rates linked to homicide are four times higher than women’s.
  • Men are most likely to die from homicide if they are aged 15-29. They are also more likely to be killed by men.
  • This is largely because homicides connected to organized crime or gangs is targeting young men in the U.S., where their murders account for 15 percent of homicides globally.
  • The study also addressed the shorter lifespans of those who live in third world countries.

Both men and women who live in low-income countries are more likely to die from preventable health issues, like controlling blood pressure or reducing tobacco use. Women in these countries also have a higher chance of dying from childbirth or pregnancy-related illnesses than those in high-income countries.

This disparity in life expectancy between men and women is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. With more awareness, people can fight the stigmas that lead to early deaths in men and women alike.

Featured Image by Chris Hunkeler on Flickr.

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