Have you ever heard that women outlive men? Ever wondered why?
In most species, the female almost always lives longer than its male partner. One possible explanation may not necessarily be the biological gender, but the type of chromosomes each one has.
Having two copies of the same chromosome is associated with a longer lifespan. According to research, people with XX (female) sex chromosomes are more capable to protect the other X chromosome. Thus, a healthy X can stand in for a defective X and shield it, extending the organism's life by preventing the expression of the disease-causing genes, while in an XY chromosome situation this may not be the case.
However, additional considerations may need to be made, as this may just be one cause. The type of life each sex leads is also of extreme importance when determining healthy and long aging.
Dr. Perminder Sachdev, a professor of neuropsychiatry at the University of New South Wales in Australia who has studied human longevity states that men may be more prone than women to smoke, drink too much, and gain weight. They are also more likely to refuse treatment if they have been diagnosed with sickness than they are to seek medical attention right away.
Lastly, another explanation for why this may occur is the fact that women secrete more estrogen than men. The International Journal of Endocrinology published a review in 2013 that revealed evidence estrogen can stop the type of DNA damage that causes illness. In that review, there was also proof that estrogen can support maintaining healthy, normal cell activity.
In conclusion, women tend to live longer due to biological, societal, and environmental factors. However, this does not mean that men can’t do anything to counter early death. For this reason, it is so important to establish healthy habits throughout our lifetime. Actively engaging in eating better, getting high-quality sleep, drinking plenty of water, socializing, and exercising the mind and body will allow men and women to live not only longer but happier lives as well.