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A Health, Nutrition, and Alternative Medicine Blog

Sunday, February 24, 2008

How the sexes fare when they reach 100 years


Old dog diagram

Lindsey Tanner, writing for the associated press, began a short article with a fairly bold statement: “Living to one hundred is easier than you might think”.

A person reading this line might tend to think “Hmm. Oh, really? That’s not what my occasional perusal of the obituaries tell me”. However, Ms. Tanner’s article had some very interesting things to say about which of us may achieve the status of becoming a centenarian, and how the sexes fare, comparatively speaking, when they get there.

First of all, how do we arrive at the ripe old age of one hundred years? Is it genetics, or environment (i.e. how we lived and what we ate during our life). Well, lately, scientists think that genetics may not tell as much of the story as previously thought. In fact, a study of men in their seventies found that those individuals who avoided smoking, becoming overweight and inactive, and who controlled their blood pressure and blood glucose levels, had a 54 percent chance of living into their nineties.

Those are fairly good odds and the fact that taking personal responsibility for one’s health can result in a significantly extended lifespan is wonderful news.

Now, how do men and women fare, comparatively, when they reach 100? The differences between the sexes are actually stark.

Among women this old, only about a third still retain the ability to attend to their own bathing and the ability to dress themselves. Men, on the other hand, who reach 100 have a 75 percent probability that they will still be able to dress and bathe without assistance.

Why the differences? No one is really quite sure. Are men better suited for the “longevity game”? Actually, no. The speculation is that only the hardiest of men live to the age of 100; whereas women are more likely to survive to 100 despite suffering significant limitations as a result of medical impairments.


Here are some more additions to the Vitamin Stuff Dictionary:

Allium

Carotenes

Catecholamines

Fat Soluble Vitamins

Water Soluble Vitamins

Omega-6 Fatty Acids

Sugar Alcohols

Sodium PCA

Anthocyanins

Astaxanthin









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