The Gender Longevity Difference in Humans

An interesting paper that opens: "Being male is now the single largest demographic risk factor for early mortality in developed countries ... What causes this disparity between the sexes in longevity and parasite susceptibility? Most research has focused on the proximate mechanisms, such as endocrine or immunological pathways, that are immediately responsible for any one cause. Here, I take a different approach. Sex differences in infection rates or mortality may come about for the same reasons as other differences between males and females, such as morphology: selection acts differently on the sexes because they maximize their fitness in different ways. ... I discuss an evolutionary approach to the question of why males so often die sooner and develop more diseases than females. Some researchers are hopeful that the gap between men's and women's lifespans will close as we develop better medical care and education about health risks, but I will argue instead that the disparity is not going away any time soon." Though it will become negligible as advanced longevity science is put into practice in the decades ahead.

Link: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=2628977

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