We've been told many times that we live in a male-dominated society that caters mostly to men, but there are several statistics that prove we live in a woman's world more than anything else.
For example, it's been known for a long time that women on average live longer than men do, and that's especially true in the U.S. But it leaves us asking why men usually die earlier than women, and whether we can do anything to close this gap.
Why Men Die on Average 5 Years Earlier Than Women
The number one cause of death when it comes to men is heart disease, and it kills one in every three men. The scary thing about dying from heart disease is that it can often take men's lives prematurely. There are several factors that have a significant impact on a man's heart health, from diet and exercise to lifestyle choices to genetics. But whatever the case may be, all men can stave off heart disease, or at least delay it, by choosing to eat a nutrient-dense diet, exercise regularly, engage in stress-reducing activities, and abstain from unhealthy activities such as drug and alcohol use.
Cancer causes 22.5% of deaths among men in the U.S., with prostate cancer coming in as the number one killer and colorectal cancer as the second. Lung and skin cancers are next up on the list of deadly cancers for men.
After illness, more men die from accidents than women do, which plays a large role in why the average lifespan for men is younger. Men are much more likely to opt in for dangerous work, such as the military, construction, and mining, and thus experience an accident in the workplace.
There are two other leading causes of death among men that are rarely talked about: drug overdose and suicide. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says nearly 70% of the drug overdose deaths in 2020 were from men, and twice the number of men have an alcohol addiction compared to women in our country. While we hear endlessly from women about mental health issues, men are actually the ones who suffer silently from depression, leading them to commit suicide 3.7 times more than women do. There's also the factor of men being less likely to seek help when they're going through a depressive episode.
Being a man doesn't necessarily mean you're destined to die younger than women. There are many things men can change in their lifestyle to stave off disease and mental health issues, and perhaps if more men were encouraged and received more help to make these changes, their average lifespan wouldn't look so different than women's.