Men are often called the stronger sex, and physically, they usually are. They have more muscle mass than women, can run faster, and can lift heavier objects. Medically, however, they are sometimes the weaker sex.
Women all over the world have a longer life expectancy than men, according to the World Health Organization. In the United States, for instance, women are expected to live 81.1 years, compared to 76.1 years for men. Several conditions that men are more likely to develop may explain the gap.
Genetically, what differentiates men and women is a single chromosome — men have one X and one Y chromosome, while women have two X chromosomes. The rest of the genes in the body are practically the same. So why are men more prone to certain illnesses? It boils down to lifestyle choices and personal health care, according to Dr. Amit Mehta, a family medicine physician at Geisinger Health System, a regional health care provider in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
“I wish and pray I see a lot more male patients,” Dr. Mehta said. “To them health is on the back burner and they don’t think they have a problem until they feel pain and absolutely have get checked out,” he added. “Most men I see have come to see me because their wives pushed them.”
Women in general take better care of themselves, Dr. Mehta continued. “They ask more questions and come well-prepared.” They make an appointment even if their symptoms are not significant. Men don’t get subtle signs evaluated, he added. They blame chest pain on heartburn, but it could be heart disease — especially since cardiac events are a lot more common in men than women. Heartburn is, in fact, among the 25 health symptoms people always ignore but never should.
To identify health conditions that men are more likely to develop than women, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data from government health agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and various research centers at the National Institutes of Health.