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There are some interesting challenges to your premise, even though some of it very clearly plays a role in the gap.

There is a six year gap (81 vs 87 as of 2018-2019) between men and women in Japan. Arguably none of that gap is properly explained by the issues you've raised. The Japanese are the healthiest, longest living people of any large cohort on the planet and yet the gap persists.

Further, roughly twice as many girls (50.5%) born in 2019 in Japan will live to 90 as boys (26.5%).

None of that is explained by things like rates of cancer (low in Japan), school drop-out rates, domestic violence, murder rates, prison, crime, work equality, army / Daesh matters, or suicide rates. Japan's male suicide rate for example is below that of the US, Finland and only a few points above France.

Yet the life expectancy gap between men and women is smaller in the US than in Japan, which makes little sense if your raised issues were the leading cause agents.




There’s a theory that longevity is lower in men because they need to be stronger in order to survive in a conflict. It’s a trade off. Physical strength is the result of growth, but some of the same pathways for increased growth are also theorized to be the root cause of aging. Note that this is independent of strength training; it’s the ability to get stronger, rather than actually getting stronger (among other related characteristics), that may affect longevity. Your intuition that accidental death and smoking do not explain the entirety of the gender gap in longevity is spot on. It’s not all bad news for men though. If you manage to avoid obesity and diabetes, your increased strength and bone density may impart greater quality of life in old age, and that may be worth the 3 lost years at the end of life. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3034172/


The big killer among modern elderly people is the massive muscle wasting that accompanies most inpatient hospital procedures. Having a solid foundation of muscle can insulate a person from the dreaded point of no return after which it would be impossible to build one's body back after a procedure.


Even without being bedridden for days after an inpatient procedure, we have an epidemic of frailty among elderly people. This commonly causes serious falls and fractures, and after an incident like that most people fall into a rapid downward spiral. As a matter of public health policy we should be prescribing weight training and higher protein diets for elderly people.


More muscles are correlated with lower incidence of cancer (and inflammation), so that goes against strength preference being a reason of aging.


Scientists are finding that aging is a discrete disease that catalyzes other secondary diseases, like cancer and dementia. They are also finding that it is highly likely that men’s cellular aging is slightly accelerated compared to women, albeit with the trade off described above. The anti-inflammatory benefits of muscle are overwhelmed by the avalanche of diseases caused by aging. If you’re 80 years old and you use drugs to stave off one disease, you’re likely to die from another disease soon thereafter. It’s like playing wack-a-mole, because we’re not addressing the primary disease: aging. That may change soon since more research is being done into aging as a disease.


> None of that is explained by things like rates of cancer (low in Japan),

??? Not for Stomach cancer or CRC.

CRC: High in Japan vs most other countries, and significantly more prevalent with men: https://www.wcrf.org/dietandcancer/cancer-trends/colorectal-...

Stomach: https://www.wcrf.org/dietandcancer/cancer-trends/stomach-can... men get is almost 3x more than women in Japan and Japan is the top 3 worldwide in incidence.

And overall death rates by cancer for men in Japan are quite a lot higher than for females: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4929724/figure/...

For suicides in Japan it's predominantly men who commit suicide, with a ratio of 2.53 vs female: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_r...

Before making blanket statements you may want to check the data...


The Japan difference for life expectancy could just be because Japanese men work themselves to death more often than not. Women do as well, but there's also lots of pressure to get them out of the workforce.




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