Study questions why women live longer than men

A new study questions the long-held belief that women outnumber men.

Although the life expectancy of men is shorter than that of women, according to Danish academics, men have a “substantial chance of survival for women”.

Life expectancy – which summarizes the average length of life – is a “simplified measure” that is often interpreted as meaning that “men do not live as long as women”, the researchers said.

They argue that simply looking at life expectancy means that people are not accounting for variation around the average, and that “a greater proportion of men may live longer than a larger proportion of women, even though Life expectancy shows a female advantage”.

A better approach may be to examine the life span of men and women in different countries, he said.

Their study, published in the journal BMJ Open, examined data on the life spans of men and women in 199 countries for nearly 200 years.

The analysis concluded that men are more likely to survive than women – especially those who are married and have a degree.

“Men who are married or have a university degree outnumber unmarried women or who do not have a high school diploma,” the authors said.

They found that the chances of a man surviving a woman are between 25% and 50%.

They reported that large differences in life expectancy lead to substantial overlap in life span between the sexes.

“A blind interpretation of the life expectancy difference can sometimes lead to a distorted perception of true inequalities” [in lifespan]”The authors wrote.

They concluded: “Although male life expectancy is generally lower than female life expectancy, and male mortality is generally higher at all ages, males have a substantial chance of survival for females.

“These findings challenge the common belief that ‘men do not live as long as women’ and reveal a more subtle disparity in life span between women and men.”