It’s typically known that women live longer than men, but why is this the case? According to a study done in Japan, women’s immune systems age slower than men’s with women usually living five years longer than men. A complexity of reasons are in question for longevity, such as genetics, hormones, psychological, and sociological factors.
Does the Female Immune System Age Differently?
There are a few differences, in which the immune system ages in men and women. Some white blood cells, such as T-cells and B-cells, decrease as we age, but in women they decrease at a slower rate than in men. In contrast, the white blood cells, CD4 T-cells, increase as we age and with women they increase at a faster rate than with men. Also, red blood cells start to decline in age with men, but not with women.
Although, it still isn’t proven that these changes to the immune system are the exact reason for women living longer. It does add another piece to the puzzle of how our bodies change as we age. The immune system aging slower in women does show a general view of a slower rate of intrinsic aging.
The Aging Process of Men and Women
There are differentiating factors in the aging process of men and women.
These contrasting elements include:
- Women have higher levels of estrogen than men, protecting them from cardiovascular disease until menopause.
- Different types of sex hormones, such as lymphocytes have an affect on the immune system.
- Women have less iron than men, protecting them against heart disease.
- Women have genetic and chromosomal factors that could possibly aid them in living longer.
- Men are more likely to smoke, eat unhealthy foods, and have unhealthy stress coping habits.
- Men have higher testosterone levels leading to risky and dangerous behavior that may cause them to die earlier.
3 Ways to Increase Your Longevity
We have more control over our longevity than we realize. Most people say it’s up to genetics and that’s it, but there is so much more to it than that. 70% of variation in longevity is due to environmental factors, while 30% is due to genetics. Incorporating positive habits into our daily routine can increase the length of our lives and happiness.
Tops ways to boost your longevity are:
- Daily exercise: Daily exercise commitment is a great way to improve your life expectancy, your health, and your energy level. A study showed that people who exercise vigorously for around 3 hours a week had DNA and cells that were 9 years younger than nonexercisers. Three hours a week is a little more than 30 minutes a day.
2. Destress: Life expectancy can be messed up by stress in two major ways. The first way is through the direct, unhealthy effects of stress on your body in the long term. The second way stress may shorten your life expectancy is through the negative behaviors that being stressed triggers. These behaviors include comfort eating and smoking.
3. Socialize: Life expectancy can be increased by just hanging out with your friends and family. The more connected someone is, the better their overall health. Having positive relationships with a spouse, friends, and family is the best way to be connected.
The Victorian Assisted Living and Retirement Community
The Victorian is an assisted living and retirement community that makes living independently, while at the same time feeling safe and secure, a reality. We strive to provide the best quality of life for all residents including those suffering from loneliness and depression.
We offer a comprehensive activity program that includes both physical and social activities to encourage emotional well-being. Our staff is trained to assist those with depression. If you or a loved one are considering assisted living, contact The Victorian today to learn more about our services or tour our community.