The one thing that medicine and a spa treatment can’t prevent, is aging. Gray hairs, achy bones, and wrinkles are all-natural changes that most people can relate to as they grow older. But can a man and a woman age differently?
While there are plenty of similarities, there are also quite a few differences in the aging process between men and women. Of course, other factors can affect how you age too such as genetics, lifestyle, diet, and environmental factors. In this article, we dive deeper to find out the main ways men and women age differently.
Hormones Affect Men and Women Differently
An individual’s hormones will inevitably change as they age. Women will experience changing levels in estrogen during and after menopause. Cleveland Clinic says the ovaries produce less of this hormone as time goes on. A drop in estrogen first leads to menopausal symptoms, then escalates into having a higher risk of health conditions like osteoporosis and heart disease.
In contrast, men will have changes in testosterone, but unlike women, this decline is more gradual. It typically decreases by just 1-percent per year which can be pretty noticeable. By age 70, a man’s testosterone is 30-percent below its peak.
Men Lose More Hair
It’s normal for both men and women to lose hair, though it’s a problem that commonly impacts men more. Around half of all men will show some hair loss by the age of 50. If the hair loss is hereditary, it could happen earlier by age 40. Women are more likely to experience thinning or finer hair when aging as opposed to baldness.
Women Are More Likely to Live longer
While it’s impossible to predict how long a person will live, in general, women have a longer life expectancy than men. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), on average women live six to eight years longer than men.
This is due to a combination of inherent biological advantages and behavioral differences between men and women. A study published on the National Library of Medicine says men have higher casualty rates in accidents, suicide, and cirrhosis of the liver. They are also more likely to be diagnosed with arteriosclerotic heart disease.
Some also believe that women live longer because men often engage in riskier activities. Some men also have occupations that put them at risk.
How Cognitive Impairment Affects Men and Women
As your body gets older, so does the brain. Both men and women can suffer from cognitive impairment when they get older but for different reasons.
According to Verywell Health, women are more prone to cognitive impairment if they depend on others for daily tasks and lack a strong social network. However, men are more likely to suffer from cognitive impairment if they are overweight or living with pre-existing conditions like diabetes. A family history of strokes can put them at risk too.
Monitor Your Health
Despite there being a few differences in aging between men and women, one thing they both have to know about is the importance of screening for health issues. Some common conditions both men and women might encounter as they grow older include:
- Hearing loss
- Cataracts and refractive errors
- Back and neck pain
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Talk to your doctor about disease and ailments you should be on the lookout for. Regular checkups and screenings for certain health problems can help you stay on top of your health as you get older.