Longevity advantage in women

Humans are living longer than ever before. Globally, even though there may be some differences in longevity statistics between countries, women are living longer than men, and this has been the trend since the 20th century.

This report by Our World in Data states the following: ‘Males tend to have more fat surrounding the organs whereas women tend to have more fat sitting directly under the skin. This difference is determined both by oestrogen and the presence of the second X chromosome in females; and it matters for longevity because fat surrounding the organs predicts cardiovascular disease´.

The same report suggests that women tend to live longer than men because ‘women are more robust than men during illness ‘. In other words, women are stronger, more resilient and have the ability to recover a lot sooner from illness than men do. Quite a fascinating conclusion.

In South Africa, Stats SA reported that women live approximately six years longer than men with a life expectancy of 67.3 years compared to 61.1 years for males. This longevity advantage that women have poses a challenge regarding their financial security in retirement and must be accounted for accordingly.

And just out of interest, this is what the World Health Organization think of human age:

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