Hey men, there’s good news and bad news.
The good news is we’re living decades longer than we were just a couple centuries ago. The bad news is the gap between how long men live and how long women live is still about the same.
An international team of researchers published a study on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In it, they detailed the great strides that humans have made in longevity the past 200 years, even compared to other primates such as monkeys and apes.
However, they noted, women are still outliving men by about five years, the same gap that was present in the early 1800s. That gap between male and female lifespans is also found in other primate species. And researchers aren’t entirely sure why……
Genetics, behavior, or both?
Alberts and the other researchers say there is probably a genetic component to the gap in male and female longevity. They surmise it might lie in the X chromosome. Women have two of them while men only have one. The solitary X chromosome in men may not be enough to compensate for any gene variants in that single chromosome. Alberts said that wars and other aggressive behavior by men may also be a factor.
Men simply don’t prioritize their health.
Dr. Jamin Brahmbhatt, South Lake Hospital
Brahmbhatt told Healthline a big factor may be that men simply don’t take care of themselves as well as women do. They don’t eat as well and they don’t go to the doctor nearly as often as women do. The surgeon believes that this behavior may have its roots in childbirth.
He said women usually go through pregnancy in the first few decades of their life. They develop a pattern early of going to the doctor and taking care of their health. Most men don’t do that until they are perhaps beyond 50 or 60 years of age. Brahmbhatt said there is only so much you can do about genetics, but there is a lot you can do about behavior.
“You have to live with the cards you are dealt, but there are things around you that you can control,” he said.
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