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The Secrets Behind Women’s Longer Life Expectancy

It is well documented that, on average, women outlive men in nearly all societies around the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women’s average life expectancy now stands at 79.3 years compared with 73.5 years for men—a gap of several years. A variety of medical experts discuss key factors as to why females have this edge in longevity.

This includes the female sex hormone estrogen, says Dr. Robert Segal, a cardiologist. “Estrogen helps keep blood vessels healthy by causing dilation and improving endothelial cell function,” he explains. “This can improve blood flow and lower the risk of atherosclerosis, a leading cause of heart disease.” Estrogen likewise improves cholesterol profiles and modulates activities with anti-inflammatory properties that reduce cardiovascular risks.

According to Dr. Rohit Vuppuluri, an international cardiologist, men smoke, drink alcohol, consume drugs, and follow unhealthy diets more than women. “These increase the risk of chronic diseases that can ultimately worsen mortality,” he says. The jobs men usually do are hazardous. Additionally, they take more risks by driving recklessly and participating in extreme sports, which is sure to cause more injuries.

“Diet and exercise heavily influence longevity,” dietitian Blanca Garcia said. “Better food choices help keep the body in balance.” Research suggests that women, as opposed to men, have more nutritional dietary choices which can help attain a long lifespan. Dr. Segal agrees that, in addition to increasing longevity, regular exercise contributes to a healthy heart, weight control, and well-being.

Clinical psychologist Abigail Lev believes it may be wretched, emotional repression, leading to higher numbers for men. “Men are conditioned to deeply suppress emotions,” she says. “Women tend to have stronger social connections which provide crucial support.” Dr. Naval Parikh adds, “Larger social networks can positively impact mental health and coping with stress” for women.

According to Dr. Vuppuluri, men are likely to ignore the symptoms rather than get them checked and continue working until they land themselves in a dire situation. Even then, research shows that about half of the men disregard treatment plans such as taking prescribed medication and visiting for follow-ups.

While some advantages are inherently provided for women by their biology, experts also recognize that regular exercise, proper nutrition, stress management worthy of such a name, strong social bonds, and access to good healthcare can add years to any lifespan.

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