Who's healthier -- men or women?

May 13, 2009 5:28:31 PM PDT
Who is the weaker sex? Is it men or women? To phrase it another way, are men or women better able to fight off infection? Yes, women go to the doctor more often. But who is actually healthier, women or than men?

"I think women are healthier because we tend to visit a doctor more when we have a problem," said Houstonian Candace Robinson. "Men, they'll procrastinate and wait."

"I would say women," agreed UT Houston nurse Annette Reina.

We were surprised when Patrick Johnson said women were healthier.

"I think it's just that women pay more attention to detail and men have a tendency to blow stuff off," he said.

Canadian researchers say women are healthier. They say it's because women have estrogen and they claim estrogen helps them fight infection.

"I think estrogen may play a factor," said Dr. Robin Hardwicke with UT-Houston. "This is a small study. It's done in mice. We need to run with it and actually start testing humans."

So the verdict from Dr. Hardwicke?

"Of course, we are," she said with a laugh.

The Canadians published their study in a very official journal - The Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences. And they say it's because women needed a stronger immune system to protect their young. The only dissenting opinion we found today was John Rose.

"Men are more healthier," he said.

"Do you agree?" we asked his wife Mildred.

"No," she said. "He has more appointments than I do."

Maybe their 61-year marriage is the real reason the Roses are both healthy.

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Christi Myers is ABC13's Healthcheck reporter

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