Why are All the Really Old People Women?

Sixty-eight of the 72 known "supercentenarians" (people 110 and older) are female, even though there are more boys than girls born each year. Here's why.

The danger years
The difference between male and female death rates peaks between ages 20 and 24—during which men are six times as likely to be murdered and five times as likely to die of a non-automobile accident.

Toxic testosterone
The hormone increases levels of bad cholesterol (known as LDL) and decreases levels of good cholesterol (HDL), while estrogen does just the opposite.

Whether it's homicide, suicide, or by accident, men are five times more likely to die by firearms than women.

Drop-dead diseases
Fatal conditions like cancer and heart disease are common among men, while women are more likely to suffer from chronic nonfatal conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, and autoimmune disorders.

Overwhelming emotions
The tendency to ignore signs of depression and emotional distress may account for the fact that, between the ages of 75 and 79, men are nine times more likely to commit suicide.

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