Men Are Stronger, but Women Live Longer: So Which Is the Healthiest Sex?

We all know that when it comes to physical strength, men have the upper hand.Yet women tend to live on average three years longer, so which is the healthier sex? In fact, there are many crucial differences between men and women, including susceptibility to certain disease, survival rates and ability to tolerate medication. Here, with the help of leading experts, we explain how.

SKIN

Men tend to develop skin cancer on their backs and fronts while the most common site for women is on the lower leg. This difference could be explained by the ways in which they expose their skin, explains Dr Andrew Wright, consultant dermatologist with Bradford NHS Foundation Trust. Men, for example, take off their tops more often than women.

Before the age of 40, melanomas are slightly more common in women; after 40 men are more often affected. Men are also more likely to have invasive and fatal melanoma, although some research suggests the higher rates are only because men fail to get suspicious skin changes checked before they become dangerous.

The rate in women levels off somewhat between 45 and 60 – possibly because a drop in oestrogen brought on by the menopause has some sort of protective effect or the hormone can encourage cancer cells to grow.

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April 9, 2009

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