Researchers feel that difference in sex hormones makes women biologically hardier as oestrogen is known to protect the vascular system and testosterone increases risk for fatal diseases.
Led by researchers at the University of Southern Denmark and Duke University in the U.S., the team analysed mortality data going back roughly 250 years for people whose lives were cut short by starvation, disease or other misfortunes.
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Other "mortality shocks" examined by the team included two deadly measles epidemics in Iceland in 1842 and 1882 - in which women also survived longer.
"The data spanned seven populations in which the life expectancy for one or both sexes was a dismal 20 years or less". Female newborns were more likely to survive trying circumstances during the last three centuries.
In general, the researchers discovered that women lived longer than men by an average of six months to almost four years.
The highest mortality rates were measured in Liberia, where almost 40 percent of the freed American slaves who relocated to the African country became infected and killed by tropical diseases. They were able to survive for more years as compared to their male counterparts when the conditions were bad. Babies born during that time rarely made it past their second birthday.More news: Body found in park ID'd as missing college student Blaze Bernstein
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The researchers from the University of Southern Denmark looked at some tragic historical events when average life expectancy dropped below 20 years.
They added: 'In all populations, they had lower mortality across nearly all ages, and, with the exception of one slave population, they lived longer on average than men.
Girls living in Ukraine during the 1933 starvation had a mortality rate of 10.85, while the boys lived to the average age of 7.3.
When the researchers broke the results down by age group, they found that most of the female survival advantage comes from differences in infant mortality.
Biological differences between the two sexes also played a role, the researchers suggested.
"Our results add another piece to the puzzle of gender differences in survival", said researchers led by Virginia Zarulli, Assistant Professor at the Duke University in Durham, US.