Secret to women's longevity is in the genes: Having two X chromosomes promotes survival, study suggests

When it comes to the secret of long life, the answer may be in your genes.

Women live longer than men, a study suggests, because they are lucky enough to have two X chromosomes.

It has been said women outlive men because of stronger immune systems and a tendency to smoke, drink and fight less.

However, they also live longer in the animal kingdom and researchers now believe chromosomes are significant.

Females have XX chromosomes and males have XY. But the Y chromosome does little except create men’s masculine features, like facial hair, while the X contains many of the genes related to the brain and survival.

When scientists engineered biologically male mice to have two X chromosomes like a female, they lived longer.

Dr Dena Dubal, senior study author, from the University of California, San Francisco, said: ‘It didn’t matter if they had ovaries or testes.

'As long as they had XX, they escaped early death during ageing.’

18 December 2018


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