Do you know that for each man who lives to be a hundred years old, there are 9 women who do the same? So women do in fact live longer than their male counterparts; a fact that has puzzled and challenged scientists for a very long time. Recent research suggests that the reason for this longevity is to be found at the cellular level.
Mitochondrial mutations could be the reason
Some mutations that occur in the cells of the body are seen to be more harmful to men than they are to women found a recent study. Whereas among women harmful mutations tend to be weeded out, the same is not true for men. Among men, harmful mutations tend to build up in the mitochondria, which, according to researchers is the reason for women to live longer than men.
Other reasons why women live longer than men
In the developed world, women tend to live 5 to 10 years longer than men on an average. There are several reasons that explain this difference in genders.
One of the main reasons is the fact that women have natural protection against heart disease until they reach menopause. Because of this, women develop heart disease about 10 years after men. Since women develop heart disease and stroke later in life, they also live longer as a result.
There is also the fact that women have lower levels of iron in their systems than do men. This means that there is less oxidative damage from free radicals in female cells. This is why overall aging processes may be slower in women than in men.
Then there is the concept of “Testosterone Storm” that could also account for higher mortality rates among men. Men in their early 20’s and late teens experience certain hormonal changes that predispose them to certain dangerous behaviors. Men of this age may show aggressive behavior, flout rules, abuse alcohol, drive in an unsafe manner, use weapons and so on. So men of this age die at a higher rate than do women; something else that contributes to a longer average life span among women.
Among older men, the rates of suicide are higher. When individuals are depressed and attempt to take their own life, men are more likely to succeed at the attempt than women.
Men also display certain habits that are inimical to a long and healthy life: men are more likely to smoke, they are more likely to have unhealthy food habits, and they are less likely to deal with stress than women.