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Life expectancy is a statistical measure of the average length of survival. It is often calculated separately for differing gender and geographic location. It is commonly construed to mean the life expectancy at birth for a given human population, which is the same as the expected age at death. However, technically, life expectancy means the expected time remaining to live, and it can be calculated for any age.
Higher female life expectancy
Female life expectancy is considerably higher than those of men, especially subtracting the effect of maternal mortality. Reasons for this are manifold and fall into two groups: social and biological reasons. Proponents of the former argue that men usually consume more tobacco, alcohol and drugs than females and are thus prone to related health problems. Men are furthermore more likely to be a victim of traffic accidents and violent deaths, e.g. wars and capital crimes. Others argue that shorter male life expectancy is simply another manifestation of the general rule, in all mammal species, that larger individuals tend on average to have shorter lives. If small body size is a result of poor nutrition and not of genetics, then the rule is the other way round: better nourished people are taller and live longer.
In their menstrual cycle females regularly lose some blood, which rids them of toxic heavy metals and of iron, which causes oxidative stress. Also, females have two X-Chromosomes while males have only one, thus males are more prone for X-linked hereditary diseases than females.
- Samaras, Thomas T. und Heigh, Gregory H.: How human size affects longevity and mortality from degenerative diseases. Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients 159: 78-85, 133-139