Saturday, December 21, 2013

Why do women live longer than men do?

Potential Reasons for Gender Differences in Mortality

Females are more hardy
Males engage in riskier behaviors (factor after birth and infancy)
Men engage in riskier sports
Males tend to hold high stress or higher risk jobs
Men tend to have poorer health habits (e.g., drink more alcohol)
Social support may be more protective in women
More fit – more males are conceived but more female fetuses are born.  This trend persist in infancy so that more male babies are likely to die.  Thus, females may be more hardy. Essentially, no one really knows why there is the female advantage. Conflicting reports on social support since marriage appears to benefit men more than women. All of these factors may operate to increase the mortality rates in men.

Risks Factors

Family history
Marital status (adds 10 yrs in men; 4 yrs in women)
Economic status
Body weight
Alcohol (add 2 years if drink 1-3 drinks/day)
Disposition (add 2 yrs if reasoned, practical)
Environment (add 4 yrs if rural)
Sleep (more than 9 hours subtract 5 years)
Temperature (add 2 yrs if thermostat is < 68)
Health care – regular check ups add 3 yrs

Three Themes of Adaptation

Find meaning: why illness happened or rethink priorities
Gain sense of control, control symptoms and treatment
Restore self-esteem, Often by comparison with worse off others

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