aging geriatrics elderly

The Weaker Sex? Who Lives Longer? Interview with:
Dr Yu-Tzu Wu PhD
Research Associate for the Ageing Trajectories of Health
Kings College, London What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We used the data from over 179000 people aged 50 or above across 28 countries to investigate socioeconomic, lifestyle, health and social factors that may be related to sex differences in mortality at older age.

We found men had higher mortality risk than women but the differences varied across countries. Smoking and heart disease partially account for the mortality gap between women and men. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Our study highlights sex differences in mortality at older age and the crucial contributions of smoking to excess mortality in men. The heterogeneity of sex differences in mortality across countries may indicate the potential impact of cultural and societal factors on healthy aging in addition to biological sex. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Future research may investigate underlying mechanisms of sex differences in mortality, how the interplay of individual (e.g. biological, lifestyle) and contextual factors (e.g. cultural, political) can influence life experience and health in men and women across different societies. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Our study did not look at disability. Although we know that women do live longer, the literature also show that women spend more time with disability or in poor health compared to men. 


Sex differences in mortality: results from a population-based study of 12 longitudinal cohorts

Yu-Tzu WuAlbert Sanchez NiuboChristina DaskalopoulouDario Moreno-AgostinoDenes SteflerMartin BobakSian OramMartin Prince and Matthew Prina

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Last Updated on March 19, 2021 by Marie Benz MD FAAD