International Data Demonstrating the Inverse Height and Life Expectancy Between the Sexes

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International Data Demonstrating the Inverse Height and Life Expectancy Between the Sexes
  • Thomas Theodore Samaras, Reventropy Associates
  • Stephen M Marson, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, professor emeritus
  • John Porter Lillis, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke

Keywords: Gender Differences, Life Expectancy, Height,, Mortality, Longevity, Body Size, Telomeres

Abstract

Many papers have provided reasons for why women live longer than men. These include XX vs. XY chromosomes, sex hormones, and better care of their health. These factors certainly can affect male and female health but none has been proven to explain the actual difference that exists in life expectancy between the sexes. Another controversial factor commonly ignored is the size difference between men and women, but past research has shown that differences in male and female height and associated life expectancy are related by similar but inverse percentages (such as 8% taller and 9% shorter life expectancy). This paper provides additional evidence that supports early findings that shorter height is a major factor in explaining why women live longer. To test the inverse relationship between height and life expectancy, a list of developed countries was used to compare height and life expectancy differences between men and women. The results showed men were 7.8% taller and had an 8.5% lower life expectancy. These results are similar to previous study findings in 1992, 2003, and 2009. They are also consistent with scores of studies showing shorter or smaller body size is related to greater longevity independent of sex.

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