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WHY WOMEN LIVE LONGER

It's no secret that women, on average, live longer than men. In fact, according to the latest statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics, the gap is seven years, with men expected to live to age 71 and women to age 78. Why the difference?

Lifestyle may have something to do with it. According to the results of a nationwide survey of 1,250 adults conducted by Louis Harris and Associates for Men's Health magazine, women take better care of themselves.

When it comes to nutrition, for example, women are more likely than men to limit sodium (59 percent to 49 percent), fat (61 percent to 47 percent) and cholesterol (51 percent to 36 percent) in their diets. Also, 66 percent of the women surveyed include fiber in their diets, compared to 52 percent of the men.

Although men and women are equally likely to smoke, among the adults who drink alcohol, 12 percent more men than women say they drink more than "moderately" (defined as 14 drinks a week or five a day) and 19 percent fewer men say they don't avoid driving after drinking. Women also are more likely than men to wear seat belts (63 percent to 55 percent) and less likely to speed (36 percent to 53 percent).

About the only good news for men is that they are better than women at getting regular exercise. Forty-three percent of the men surveyed said they participate in frequent, strenuous exercise, compared to 27 percent of the women.

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