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Women have worse self-rated health and more hospitalization episodes than men from early adolescence to late middle age, but are less likely to die at each age. We use 14 years of data from the U.S. National Health Interview Survey to examine this paradox. Our results indicate that the difference in self-assessed health between women and men can be entirely explained by differences in the distribution of the chronic conditions they face. Although on average women have worse selfrated healthdoi:10.3386/w10653 fatcat:5lqw7nvkp5h6bkf7ozzeshh2se