While there are always genetic and geographic abnormalities, women tend to outlive their male counterparts by five years, according to the current life expectancy averages of 76 years for men and 81 years for women. Curious as to why this gap exists? A closer look at male and female life expectancy may shed some light on the reasons for the gender gap.
The Testosterone Factor
An important piece of the life expectancy gap may be entirely biological. Testosterone, the primary male hormone, has been associated with increased aggression, competitiveness, and libido, which may lead to stress-related issues and risky behaviors that could affect life expectancy. Testosterone has also been linked with higher levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), decreased levels of good cholesterol (HDL), and an increased risk of stroke and heart disease.
Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Allen, TX, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
The Estrogen Factor
Conversely, estrogen has been linked to positive biological reactions within the body, including regulating cholesterol metabolism by controlling the production of liver enzymes. Research suggests estrogen therapy later in life, when estrogen production naturally slows in women, may reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease and possibly ward off the onset of dementia-related conditions like Alzheimer’s.
Closing the Gap
The news isn’t all bad for men. One study found men are closing the gap by averaging twice the increase in life expectancy over a 25-year period compared to women. Part of the reason for this trend may be that women aren’t always adequately treated for high blood pressure and cholesterol, conditions traditionally associated with men rather than women.
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional elder care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.
Caring for Aging Loved Ones
Remember, life expectancy is only an estimate. There are many things both men and women can do to increase the odds of living a long, productive life, from seeing the doctor on a regular basis and keeping a generally positive attitude to maintaining a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. If you have an aging loved one and are concerned about his or her health, provide the support he or she needs to live a healthy, active lifestyle.
Making healthy lifestyle choices can help increase longevity for both genders. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Allen, TX, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (972) 548-0392.