80 SHADES OF GREY

Living in a hotel for seniors I see a lot of shades of grey. Gotcha! (the sex part comes later…) There are over 80 residents, both male and female. A few are married couples, but most are widows or single women. Is it true that women live longer than men? Although we have several women 100 or more, that is not true of the men. Why is that?

According to Psychology Today women currently live longer than men in every country in the world! UN data from 2013 revealed women’s life expectancy was almost 4.5 years longer than men. An average of 71 years compared to 66 years for men. (Heart disease is the leading cause of male mortality.)

Evidence suggests women have always outlived men. They tend to smoke less, eat better and generally take care of their bodies BUT they acquire more illnesses and visit doctors more than men.

STRESS? In an Australian study by Professor Parminder Sachdev, women under stress still live longer. Biological differences related to child bearing and hormones make women live longer. Women are also less susceptible to cell damage which is also why more girls are BORN than boys.

Women also store fat differently to men. Men store fat around their internal organs while women store it in their hips and thighs.

Even in other species females live longer.

WHY? One theory for ageing is the wear and tear theory. As cells divide, some defects accumulate in the DNA and the proteins that are formed. It is suggested that women do a better job of repairing these defects at a cellular level than men. An obvious and major difference at the genetic level is women have 2 X Chromosomes and men only have 1. Women have estrogen as a major hormone through their adult lives rather than testosterone. While testosterone gives men advantages in early life muscle strength it may actually be at a long term cost of ageing. Estrogen is a key factor in protecting effects from the wear and tear inevitable in the body.

OOPS! Male animals live longer is they have been castrated. An average of 14 years. Scary and probably not worth it guys!

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