The Real Reason Why Women Outlive Men Can Be Boiled Down To One Disease
Women live 5-10 years longer than men all across the world, and science points to a specific reason as the main cause for this disparity. Heart disease is actually the leading cause of death in the U.S. for men and women, but men die from it at higher rates. Even with increasing rates of heart disease women still live longer and science is starting to understand why.
Some Facts About Heart Disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death across almost all ethnicities and races
Someone dies from a heart-related condition every 60 seconds in the U.S.
Studies suggest there are biological differences between men and women that cause men to die sooner
Ninety percent of U.S. women have one or more risk factors
The signs and symptoms of heart disease are different for women than for men
Although women live longer than men, heart disease is still a major killer
Why Do Women Live Longer
According to a study released earlier in 2015, testosterone levels play a large part in heart disease risks and may explain why men die younger from the disease. The study noted a link between high testosterone and lower “good” cholesterol. Because the study was manipulating hormones, it also noticed lowered estrogen levels contributed to insulin resistance and fat accumulation. Earlier studies also noted high testosterone levels can increase the risk of blood clots.
Yet another study suggests iron deficiency in women due to menstrual cycles may contribute to them developing heart disease at a later age than men do. It is believed iron produces free radicals which damage cells and lower levels of iron mean those cells are not being damaged as quickly. The same researcher who lists iron levels as relevant also suggests the XX chromosome women have may increase gene variations and affect cell aging.
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What Further Research Might Tell Us
The studies done thus far only give us part of the story and lead to theories explaining biological reasons women get heart disease at later ages. Some research looked back all the way to 1800 to track the difference in age at time of death between men and women, proving women have lived longer for at least 200 years. But with heart disease on the rise in women across cultures we may find over time the age gap begins to close. While biology may explain some risk factors, researchers have reason to look closely at behavioral differences and risk factors people may be able to control to reduce risks and increase their lifespan.