Why are some smaller men overconfident

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Anyone who picks up an instruction leaflet will find a lot of information about side effects and risks that can arise from the respective preparation. Strictly speaking, most of these recommendations apply to men because the active ingredients were mainly tested on male test subjects. The typical study participant is male, between 20 and 40 years old and weighs 75 kilograms; accordingly, the package insert is tailored to this group of people.

This happened after the experience with Contergan, in order to protect women, because we do not know whether new drugs are potentially dangerous for the unborn child, and in principle every young woman becomes pregnant in the context of a clinical study could be.

For years, Prof. Petra Thürmann - clinical pharmacologist at the University of Witten-Herdecke - has been working on the gender-specific effects of drugs - especially with regard to women. Scientific findings: women consistently react differently to medication than men.

Some drugs that are taken for malaria prophylaxis cause considerable symptoms, from dizziness to hallucinations, and this is surprisingly much more common in women - regardless of the dose and blood level.

The reasons for the different reactions of women are diverse. On the one hand, there is the greater proportion of fatty tissue in women. Fat-soluble preparations therefore stay longer in the patient's body - correspondingly longer they suffer from possible side effects. Another example:

Metropolol is a so-called beta blocker, which is used a lot in patients with high blood pressure, with heart failure, but also for migraines. We know from recent studies that this active ingredient is metabolized and broken down about half as slowly in women as in men. And the whole thing is halved again if the women take oral contraceptives, i.e. the pill.

Even acetylsalicylic acid - the active ingredient in aspirin, among other things - is only broken down half as quickly when taking the pill. However, there is no corresponding information on the instruction leaflet. But even the men are not optimally cared for by the medical company. For example, there is still no specialist in andrology - as a contact person for male patients - comparable to gynecology for women. Men - according to Prof. Ulrich Langenbeck - human geneticist at the University Hospital Frankfurt - suffer much more often from genetic diseases because they have two different chromosomes in their genome: X and Y.

There are several hypotheses about this, including current hypotheses, that the X chromosome has a particularly large number of inheritances that have something to do with intelligence. Many genes that have an essential function in the brain, encoded on the X chromosome. And that means that, of course, a woman who has a mutation in one of these genes can compensate for this defect with a corresponding gene on the other X chromosome, while the man does not have this chance and that leads to significantly more men than women are mentally retarded.

The man is undoubtedly the genetically inferior version of the human species - so the judgment of the human geneticist. The fact that women now statistically live seven years longer than men and that the gap in life expectancy will continue to widen further in the future cannot be explained by genes alone, says Prof. Elmar Brähler, medical sociologist at the University of Leipzig:

There are homemade reasons why men die seven years earlier. They drink more, they smoke more, they eat more hot and greasy food, so they eat less fruits and vegetables, and they get fewer health checkups that show men die sooner.

Above all, men suffer from a "feeling of inviolability," says Dr. Werner Gehring - antiaging physician from Bad Münder. You live under the fallacy of generally staying healthy and therefore pay little attention to prevention:

Women have a different level of how they communicate to themselves. This makes them easier to reach. For women, well-being is the primary thing. That's the big difference to men. The man does not even know the word "well-being", he only thinks about well-being when he is already sick. And since a woman begins to visibly age from the age of 30, naturally thinking about aging processes also begins. A man doesn't even notice that. A man perceives aging after a heart attack or after the first erectile dysfunction.

You can find out more about the differences between men and women - from a medical point of view - on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday in Current Research, Science in Focus, at 4:30 p.m. on Deutschlandfunk.

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