WHY DO WOMEN LIVE LONGER THAN MEN?

Feb 28th, 2012 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: For Senior Women

Senior Women Longevity

Almost everything we hear about and read about tells us that women live longer than men on average.  Best statistics suggest its about 10 years longer.  Eighty-five percent of people over 100 are women.  One prominent article on the Internet suggested it is because cardiovascular disease is worse for men than women, and hits them earlier in life than it does women.  Genetic factors also seem to play a part, according to some experts.  Others point to lifestyle, nutrition, family, how stress is handled, and medical health.

The reality most likely is that ‘all of the above’ are factors in longevity for senior women.  And one of the factors can totally overwhelm the others if it is significantly beyond the norm.  For example, a female relative of one of SCJ editors is 78.  She lives comfortably in her own home with her husband; they have a second home in a resort area; she has a loving family including children, grandchildren and several greats; she has had no significant health issues over the years; she appears to handle stress well; and she is obese.  She has eaten a crap diet for 70+ years, claiming nothing she does helps her lose weight.  (The editor has dined with her many times, and her order is always full of fat and calories.)  The years of bad food is now coming back to haunt her.  She has been diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver.  Her senior years are numbered because of the choices she has made about diet.

Tips for Increasing Longevity

There are a variety of steps seniors can consider to increase their longevity if a major life-threatening disease is not in the picture.  The mantra we hear on the Internet almost daily is 30 minutes of exercise daily and participating in activities that stimulate brain/cognitive functioning.  That will never change, nor will the advice go away.  Just do it!

Beyond those two major activities, however, lie some additional options.  For example, if you find yourself overwhelmed with stress too much of the time, it behooves you to find ways to reduce stress in your life.  Meditation and Yoga are excellent ways to manage stress, and you can find a variety of options for assistance on the Internet.  Your local senior citizen center or Y may also provide programs for stress management.  You will never eliminate stress from your life; you can learn effective management techniques that keep it from controlling your days.

SCJ found an Internet website that can be a big help to identify those factors that you need to pay particular attention to when you are considering how to increase your longevity. Livingto100 offers advice and tips on how to live longer; the major tool on this site is a Calculator that, once you have answered questions about your life and how you live, provides a guess-timate about how long you will live.  Then the feedback tells you what changes you need to make now that will increase your life span.

We think it’s worth investing some time now to add months or years down the road.



Tags: , , , ,

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.