Women Stand Better Chances To Survive Worst Conditions Than Men

So this is why women live longer than men

So this is why women live longer than men

A new study has suggested that women are biologically stronger than men, and are more likely to survive life-threatening crisis.

Researchers at the University of Southern Denmark trawled through historic data looking at death rates for men and women who suffered famines and epidemics, or who were sold into slavery.

They found that while women survived for a longer interval as compared to men, they outlived male counterparts by years in cases where conditions were equally bad.

Researchers at the U.S. Duke University and the University of Southern Denmark examined about 250 years of mortality data for people whose lives were cut short by starvation, disease and misfortunes, to study the life expectancy gender gap between females and males.

Women are more likely to survive starvation, epidemics and violence - and their motherly instincts could be their saving grace.

Researchers at the University of Southern Denmark examined the life expectancy of both men and women during seven periods of starvation and epidemics in history.

The populations included slaves in Trinidad and the United States in the 1800s, starvation victims in Ireland and Ukraine, and Icelanders affected by two measles epidemics in 1846 and 1882.

"Most of the female advantage was due to differences in mortality among infants".

In Liberia, for example, freed American slaves who relocated to the West African country in the 1800s experienced the highest mortality rates ever recorded.


Life expectancy for both sexes dropped from 38 years, to 18.7 years for men and 22.4 years for women during the crisis, which claimed about one million lives.

More than 40 percent died during their first year, presumably wiped out by tropical diseases they had little resistance to.

Another group of people living in Ireland in the 1840s famously starved when a potato blight caused widespread crop failure.

For all populations, far more women also lived to extreme old age than men.

'We find that even when mortality was very high, women lived longer.

Girls living in Ukraine during the 1933 starvation had a mortality rate of 10.85, while the boys lived to the average age of 7.3. Women also survived for longer during two 19th century Icelandic measles outbreaks. This advantage in women may be largely due to biological factors such as genetics or hormones, especially estrogens, which enhances the body's immune defenses against infectious disease, the researchers explained.

The researchers found that the girls born during the starvation in Ukraine in 1933 had a mortality rate of 10.85, and boys 7.3.

"Our results add another piece to the puzzle of gender differences in survival", the researchers said.

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