Although between 2,000 and 3,000 more boys than girls are born in our country every year, the number of women greatly exceeds the number of men, the data from the State Statistics Office show.
The data also show that about 180,000 more women than men live in Serbia. Figures show that men outnumber women until they turn 39 years old, and then their number starts to decrease. Also, there are 9,000 more 80-year-old women in Serbia compared to 80-year-old men.
Searching for an answer to the question of why men live shorter than women, a senior research associate at the Centre for Demographic Research of the Institute of Social Sciences, Dr. Ivan Marinković, says that there is almost no country in a world where the male population has a longer life expectancy.
Studies have shown that, even in times of epidemics and famine, women still have a lower mortality rate than men. In Serbia, men have about five years shorter life expectancy than women, and this difference is the average for almost all countries in the world.
He explains that the factors that influence the difference in mortality between the sexes are different and most of the time it is impossible to observe them separately. Namely, in addition to biological prerequisites, on average, the male population consumes more tobacco and alcohol, consumes less healthy food, takes less care of their own health and seeks medical treatment less often. In addition, violent causes of death are incomparably more common in the male population.
Smoking is the biggest cause of mortality in both men and women in Serbia – a quarter of all deaths in men are linked to tobacco, while in women, tobacco is responsible for nine percent of all deaths. If smoking-related deaths were eliminated, men would have a longer life expectancy by about three years, and women by about a year.
Alcohol use is, next to smoking and high blood pressure, the third most important factor in premature mortality. High alcohol intake is associated with the onset of many diseases, such as heart disease, liver cirrhosis and certain types of malignant diseases. Harmful use of alcohol represents a serious health, but also economic and social problem, primarily due to the consequences of drinking – accidents, traffic accidents, violence, reduced productivity, unemployment and crime.
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