Males live shorter lives than women in all countries. The universality of shorter male life expectancy is a 21st Century phenomena. It occurs with the decline in infectious diseases and the rise in cardiovascular diseases accounting for mortality. Male/female differences in morbidity are not as succinctly characterized. Men have a higher prevalence of lethal diseases, which is linked to their lower life expectancy. Women have more non-lethal conditions such as depression and arthritis; which may also be linked in part to longer survival. Men have better physical functioning and less disability which is partly explained by gender differences in diseases and also by their greater strength, size, and stamina. Gender differences in risk factors for disease have changed over time with the prevalence and treatment of risk as well as differential behavior by gender. Examination of what are seen as basic molecular and cellular measures related to aging indicates men age faster than women; however, even these basic biological measures result from a combination of biology, behavior, and social factors.
The full study is available in Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders.