Prof. Marc Luy - UPF

Mar 23, 2017 - mostly a direct consequence of their advantage in longevity. Thus, women suffer more from longstanding illnesses than men not in spite of ...
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RESEARCH FORUM 2017 Department of Political and Social Sciences

Thursday, March 23rd at 15:00 Room 40.154. Roger de Llúria Building

Marc Luy, Vienna Institute of Demography of the Austrian Academy of Sciences Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU) will present

Can we explain and disenchant the “gender-and-health-paradox”?

From the 1960s to the 1980s a common wisdom about differences between males and females in health and mortality emerged which was summarized by the well-known phrase “women get sicker, but men die quicker”. Recently this wisdom has been increasingly questioned. Nonetheless, the general idea of a paradoxical relationship between health and mortality among women and men persists until today. The presented research aims at advancing the understanding of this paradox by demonstrating that the reverse relationship between sex on the one side and health and mortality on the other is not as paradoxical as it seems. Our findings indicate that the phenomenon can be explained by three factors. First, the reversal in sex morbidity and sex mortality differentials is not universal. It occurs primarily with regard to longstanding illnesses which are not closely associated with the risk of dying. Second, this disadvantage of women is mostly a direct consequence of their advantage in longevity. Thus, women suffer more from longstanding illnesses than men not in spite of living longer, but because they live longer. These factors have not been connected with the gender-and-health-paradox so far and combine this phenomenon with the ongoing “compression versus expansion of morbidity” debate. Finally, the remaining disadvantages of women in healthy life years are eliminated when gender differences in health reporting are adjusted for.



Short bio: Marc Luy is the Head of the Research Group “Health and Longevity” at the Vienna Institute of Demography and Director of the German-Austrian “Cloister Study”. His works focus on differentials in health and longevity. The specific characteristics of his research lie in the introduction of new hypotheses to better understand the complex mechanisms behind healthy ageing, and the development of innovative methods to estimate life expectancy and health expectancy for subpopulations. He received several awards and stipends, including the Gunther Beyer Award of the European Association for Population Studies (EAPS) in 2003, an ERC Starting Grant in 2010, and an ERC Consolidator Grant in 2016. In 2011 he was elected into the Austrian Academy of Sciences as member of the “Young Academy”, and in 2016 as Corresponding Member of the Division of Humanities and the Social Sciences.

Coordination: Visnja Vukov ([email protected])