A massive study of people in 28 countries discovered men aged 50 and over had a 60 percent higher risk of death than girls, partially explained by heavier levels of smoking and cardiovascular disease in men, although the gap varied across countries, based on a new study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
The analysis examined different socioeconomic (schooling, prosperity ), lifestyle (smoking, alcohol consumption), wellness (heart diseases, diabetes, hypertension, and depression), and societal (spouse, residing alone) factors which may lead to the mortality difference between women and men aged 50 and older. The data contained over 179,000 people across 28 states and over half (55%) were women. “[T]he effects of gender on mortality must include not only physiologic variation between men and women but also the social construct of sex, which revolves around societies.
Specifically, the huge variation across countries may imply a greater impact of sex than sex. Although the biology of the genders is consistent across populations, variation in cultural, societal and historical contexts can result in distinct life experiences of people and variation in the mortality gap across states.” The researchers urge that public health policies should account for gender – and gender-based differences and the effect of social and cultural factors on health. “Different cultural traditions, historical contexts, and economic and social development may influence gender experiences in different states, and consequently variably influence the health status of men and women.”
“The heterogeneity of Sexual differences in mortality across States may indicate the Substantial impact of sex on healthy aging along with biological sex, in Addition to the Substantial contributions of smoking May also Change across different populations,” write the authors. The findings are consistent with the literature on life expectancy and death rates.