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To wonder why women tend to outlive men statistically

(41 Posts)
Musicforsmorks Tue 12-May-20 23:53:20

...if women have more areas within the body to develop cancer?

I’m ignorant, not a biologist, so I’m confused. I appreciate that there are risky behaviours, suicide, etc, but if we are talking about old age and the potential for cancer, wouldn't females have More risk - ovary, womb, cervix, breast, etc?

This is something I’ve always wondered about yet never figured out.

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dayslikethese1 Tue 12-May-20 23:56:48

I'm sure I read somewhere that life expectancy between the sexes was evening out due to increased alcohol consumption in women and less manual labour for men. But also aren't there a few conditions that attach to the Y chromosome only?

Campervan69 Tue 12-May-20 23:57:24

There's an interesting new book on this by a bloke called Sharon Moslem if you are interested

www.theguardian.com/books/2020/apr/10/the-better-half-by-sharon-moalem-review-on-the-genetic-superiority-of-women

Campervan69 Tue 12-May-20 23:58:45

All to do with our extra X chromosome apparently

"He draws on swathes of medical and historical data to show that, in many instances, the superiority of women’s biology is explicitly linked to their possession of the second X-chromosome. The greater complexity of women’s biology, he claims, is the secret of their success – it is more difficult to make a female but, once made, she trumps the male in her lifelong survival skills, for instance in her hyperefficient immune system shrugging off infection and maximising the benefits of vaccination – which means that females can avoid the consequences of a wide range of life threatening events ranging from starvation and cancer to, Moalem has cautiously concluded, Covid-19."

CSIblonde Wed 13-May-20 00:00:07

We are made of sterner stuff! No seriously, I've wondered that too. Maybe men tend to neglect their health more. I've never had a partner who'd willingly go to a Dr when very ill. My Dad didn't go when he had weird symptoms 3-4 months before his brain tumour diagnosis. His boss told us later that he'd been so ill at work one day he'd actually sent him home, but my Dad never mentioned that, he just told us he'd decided to take the afternoon off. In retrospect Id have twigged if I was older something wasn't right, as it was so unheard of for him to take an odd day off.

rosiejaune Wed 13-May-20 00:00:42

Female cancers are more likely when we don't reproduce and breastfeed. So that is a risk that is modifiable, on top of lifestyle/dietary factors.

But men mostly have equivalent cancer sites anyway, e.g. testicles, prostate, also breast etc.

But there are all sorts of reasons women live longer, including less risky behaviour, hormones, X inactivation, etc.

TheListeners Wed 13-May-20 00:02:26

Oestrogen keeps fat distribution in the thighs, breasts and bum. Men tend to have more fat around the internal organs making them a higher risk for heart disease. That's one reason I know of.

SnagAndChips Wed 13-May-20 00:05:40

There is a whole book out there about this- the reasons are many and complex.
As said above, one reason is that we have xx chromosomes, so if one x is faulty, the other can step into the breach.
Men have XY, so faulty X or Y? No back up.....put very simply!
(but women do tend to have more autoimmune diseases)

Musicforsmorks Wed 13-May-20 00:05:52

Thanks for these, really interesting topic.

I haven’t had children and hate seeing the doctor so I’m fucked 😁

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Musicforsmorks Wed 13-May-20 00:07:20

My OH of 20 yrs has a great bod, but a protruding belly, visceral, I guess. We keep wondering how he can get rid of it. He cycles everywhere and eats impeccably, it’s confusing.

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Lifeaback Wed 13-May-20 00:08:22

AFAIK heart attacks are more common in men? I read somewhere that estrogen offers some protection against heart attacks, and heart disease is the number one killer of males. As well as this in terms of cancer I would estimate that women are more likely to get health issues investigated sooner so are able to get quicker treatment with higher success rates.

Take into account the number of pre-30s male deaths that are caused by risky activities like car crashes, stabbings, drug taking- statistically women are much less likely to engage in a lot of these riskier activities so less deaths from them

ViciousJackdaw Wed 13-May-20 00:08:56

Women live longer as a bonus for putting up with a lifetime of shit from men.

Musicforsmorks Wed 13-May-20 00:09:39

I have always Wondered about why women having more auto immune issues.

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Musicforsmorks Wed 13-May-20 00:11:26

But if eostrogen helped to combat These issues, why do women get more cancers after meno?

Women living longer as bonus, haha I have wondered 😁😁😁😁

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1300cakes Wed 13-May-20 00:29:23

A variety of reasons - having a back up X chromosomes, men doing more risky behaviours like fast driving/mountain climbing, men smoking and drinking alcohol more, and more likely to die at work in manual labour jobs.

I read a theory that women living longer was also an evolutionary advantage, as women were still useful to the tribe in old age for child care and food gathering. Long lived women helped their grandchildren survive and prosper. Whereas old men, no longer able to hunt, were useless. So tribes with genes for long living women and medium living men did the best and spread this genetic combo around. Just a theory but it makes sense.

LemonTT Wed 13-May-20 00:32:58

There are biological differences that explain most of it. But lifestyle is a huge determinate of health and longevity. Men neglect their health and avoid doctors. They are very likely to have undiagnosed health conditions. It’s ironic because they get offered better health care than women when they present. They also traditionally did heavy manual labour. But that is reducing as a factor in developed countries.

Lifestyle and relative wealth are taking over for both sexes. Read up on the impact of health inequality in places like Kensington. Being a woman won’t help if you live in the wrong postcode. The gap is about 20 years.

OmgThereAreNoPlanesAboveMeNow Wed 13-May-20 00:35:22

We read manuals...

Cherrysoup Wed 13-May-20 00:40:26

What @LemonTT said. Odd one, but men over 65 in the U.K. are now called to get checked for the aneurysm that my dad died of last year-strange medical issue. He had an abdominal aortic aneurism, even with surgical intervention, the survival rate is very poor. I’d never heard of it.

AllsortsofAwkward Wed 13-May-20 00:44:16

Female hormones op, they even give females hormones to help with cancers such as prostate.

Musicforsmorks Wed 13-May-20 00:46:11

Ah, I’d never heard of it either until my parents neighbour passed away with it. Shocking stuff.

I’m not well up on genetics so don’t understand the X chromosome angle, sadly.

Interesting about relative wealth in current times - I used to live at a postcode that is now in a high deprivation area. When I return to visit friends, I do notice something in people. It is hard to describe and would not appear polite to mention.

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Musicforsmorks Wed 13-May-20 00:46:43

But if female hormones are so helpful, why do we get so many cancers?

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GrumpyHoonMain Wed 13-May-20 00:46:49

There are a number of theories but only one is widely accepted - the grandmother hypothesis assumes having healthy older women (past menopause) around benefits the survival of their sons and their sons’ children.

GrumpyHoonMain Wed 13-May-20 00:48:45

Female hormones don’t cause Cancers, biological ageing (sometimes inherited, sometimes caused by lifestyle) does. Read the Telomere Effect it is a bit of an eye opener.

Musicforsmorks Wed 13-May-20 00:51:47

Oh I don’t mean being female causes cancers, I mean we have more sites for it - Breast, ovary, cervix, etc.
Men have testicle and prostate - the rest are shared by both men and women, obviously.

Am I oversimplifying?
Probably!

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Musicforsmorks Wed 13-May-20 00:54:11

Have a slight awareness of telomere stuff, but not if it relates to gender. Will have a google, thanks!

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