Men may live longer than women, says study

Educated and married men have a higher probability than living longer than women, says a study challenging the idea that women live longer than men.

Men may live longer than women, says study
An elderly couple dancing. Credit: Wikipedia

The theory that women live longer than men has been challenged by a Danish study, as the study suggests that men could have longer life expectancy than previously thought.

Female life expectancy has been considered higher than that of men, due to factors such as war but also lifestyle factors such as alcohol and cigarettes, which is consumed in higher quantities by men.

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The study reveals that married and educated men have a high probability of living longer than women, according the study which was published in the journal BMJ Open. The study analysed 199 populations across all continents over a span of 200 years.

During the selected period, there was a 25 to 50%  increase of men who lived longer than women. In the United States, in the period between 2015 and 2019, there was a 40% chance that men would live longer than women.

'A simplistic measure'

In developed countries, the odds of men having greater life expectancies fell until the 1970s before life expectancy increased for all populations. The Danish researchers explain that summarizing the average lifespan can be a " simplistic measure,"

The increase and decrease in life expectancy has been mostly attributed to smoking and alcohol consumption, which varies between the sexes, as well as behaviour such as increased probability of car accidents or suicide rates. Further to this, socio-economic status plays a role in life expectancy as wealthier parts of the population live healthier lives than people in lower socio-economic groups.

However, before determining which sex lives the longest, more in-depth research is needed, according to the researchers.

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