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Bratisl Lek Listy. 2013;114(2):45-9.

Women live longer than men.

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Institute of Preventive and Clinical Medicine, Bratislava, Slovakia.


In most parts of the world women live longer. This gender gap in life expectancy (LE) is remarkable and it has challenged scientific research for decades. Closer analysis of geographic differences related to such gender gap and attempts to recognize its cause may provide a powerful tool to understand the basic process of aging and to device preventive health care strategies. In countries with established socio-economic order women live on the average 4-7 years longer. The main contributing factor is higher cardiovascular disease (CVD) morbidity and mortality in men. In the European established democracies male mortality is on decline and the gender gap in LE is becoming smaller. Current trends in Iceland and in other Scandinavian countries indicate that by the year 2050 men will live as long as women. Unfortunately, the gender gap continues to grow in the countries of the former Soviet influence where it represents up to 13 years. Dependence of the gender gap on the socio-economic order of a particular society points out the importance of environmental factors. Other mechanisms influencing the gender difference are the different hormonal and genetic function (Fig. 6, Ref. 23).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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