THE reason women live roughly four years longer than men in Australia is not solely down to their reduced rate of obesity, risky behaviour and smoking. According to research published today, it’s down to genetics.

Both men and women have mitochondrial DNA but researchers from Monash University in Melbourne and Lancaster University in Britain found only females were immune to mutations carried in the mitochondria, which is found in every cell of the body.

This ”evolutionary quirk” means males are more susceptible to the mutations, negatively affecting their life expectancy.
”A significant genetic difference in lifespan between men and women can be traced back to the mitochondria,” said the Monash University evolutionary biologist Damian Dowling.

Read more at Brisbane Times.

Published On: August 2, 2012

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