Listen as Dr. Legato explains why women live longer than men.
Men, at all ages, die earlier than women, and the cause of their earlier death depends on their ages. Believe it or not, suicide and murder, from the time they are born until the time they are adults, is one of the most important causes of the death of young males. By the time they’re 40, the chief cause of death of men is coronary artery disease, which begins to be apparent in the mid-30s.
The immune system of men is less vigorous than that of women, and men suffer seven out of the ten most important infections, including tuberculosis, and die more of those infections than do women patients.
I think that we socialize men differently. We tell them not to complain; we ask them to do the most dangerous jobs in society. When they play sports, they’re encouraged to minimize their injuries, particularly concussion or any sign of cardiovascular instability, and every year indeed we hear of sudden unexpected deaths of young athletes who die as a result of poor medical care and of poor screening before they engage in these sports and for really negligent treatment after they have sustained an injury.
So it’s a combination of biological delicacy, if you will, or vulnerability, that characterize men compared with women, and the rather heartless way, if you will, or thoughtless way, we socialize men that I think causes their earlier deaths.
About Dr. Legato:
Dr. Marianne J. Legato is an internationally known academic physician, author, lecturer and specialist in women's health. She is a Professor of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and the Founder and Director of the Partnership for Women’s Health at Columbia University. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Johns Hopkins Medical School. Dr. Legato founded the Partnership for Women's Health at Columbia University in 1997. It is the first collaboration between academic medicine and the private sector focused solely on gender-specific medicine: the science of how normal human biology differs between men and women and of how the diagnosis and treatment of disease differs as a function of gender. Dr. Legato has received many awards for her leadership role in women's health.
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