Women outlive men

According to Professor Jacques Snyman, clinical advisor from Resolution Health Medical Scheme, South African women are outliving men by as much as seven years. Why is this and what can men do to ensure they stay healthy?

“According to Statistics SA, life expectancy at birth for 2014 was estimated at 59,1 years for males and 63,1 years for females. This is borne out by Resolution Health Medical Scheme statistics which suggest that women in this country are outliving men by a substantial margin,” says Prof Snyman, who was speaking during Men’s Health Month, which is held annually with the aim of improving awareness of preventable health problems in men and boys.

Why are men dying young?

“There are a number of reasons for this including the fact that men tend to engage in more reckless behaviour, consume more alcohol, drive at higher speeds and are less inclined to take care of their health than women.”

“In addition, women may be said to in some ways be naturally ‘hardwired’ to live longer than men,” he adds. “For instance, women have, at least until after menopause, considerably less of a risk of suffering from heart disease, a major killer in South Africa. This is because they are protected by the hormone oestrogen, which keeps their arteries stronger and more flexible.”

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