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Top five reasons why men die before women

The average life expectancy for an Australian man is 79.2 years, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). For an Australian woman, it’s 83.7 years. But to say that’s simply part of nature’s plan is only half-true; there are many factors to consider when assessing why women can expect to live longer lives. These factors can have significant impact on life insurance policies.

  1. Nature assists women
  2. Female hormones do more then simply alter moods – they possess properties that can help to protect some women who haven’t yet reached menopause from heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in Australia.

  3. Men put themselves at higher risk…
  4. High-risk activities including physically dangerous jobs such as labouring, high impact sports such as rugby and dangerous driving, place men at a much higher risk of injury and death at an earlier age than women. According to the New South Wales Roads and Traffic Authority, 469 male drivers were involved in fatal car crashes in 2009 across NSW compared to 118 women.

  5. …and can’t beat old habits
  6. We all know smoking and excessive drinking are detrimental to our longer term health, yet men persist with these harmful habits. On average, they’re bigger smokers and drinkers than their female counterparts across almost all age groups. Cancer Council Victoria’s study Tobacco in Australia: Facts and Issues shows that 21 per cent of males in Australia smoke, compared with 18 per cent of females. Similarly, the ABS reports that 15 per cent of adult males drink at dangerously high levels compared to 12 per cent of the adult female population.

  7. Men tend to forget to watch their weight
  8. Men are more likely to think they are within a safe weight range even if they are not. Twenty-two per cent of obese men believe they meet healthy weight guidelines compared to 12 per cent of obese women. A whopping 67 per cent of Australian men (aged 25 and over) are overweight, while 52 per cent of women in that age bracket are also tipping the scales at unhealthy levels.

  9. Men are more susceptible to cancer
  10. According to the Cancer Council, half of all Australian men will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 85. This daunting forecast is not quite as grim for the female population of Australia, with a third of women to be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 85.

Amid this doom and gloom in mind, one thought can provide comfort to the male population: the shorter life expectancy of males is due in part to lifestyle factors, and you’re never too old to change your ways and improve your chances of a longer and brighter future.

– Article courtesy of Zurich Financial Services

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