Why women live longer than men

Did you know? Women's immune systems age more slowly than men's. Here's what that could mean

By Melissa Greer

Why women live longer than men

It’s well-known that women live longer than men—in Canada, the average life expectancy for a woman is 83; for a man, it’s 79. Researchers have discovered one possible reason: Women’s immune systems age more slowly than men’s. Japanese researchers studied 162 healthy male and 194 healthy female volunteers, ranging in age from 20 to 90 years old. They analyzed the participants’ blood, and found that T cells and B cells declined at a slower rate in women than men. The T cells play a central role in immune-system function, while our B cells produce antibodies. The study was published in a 2013 issue of the journal Immunity & Ageing.

This article originally appeared in the October 2013 issue of Best Health. Subscribe today to get the full Best Health experience–and never miss an issue!

Best Health magazine, October 2013; Image: Thinkstock

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