STUDY: Men Age Faster Than Women

Men age faster than woman — and by their 50s, male bodies are as much as four biological years older than females of the same age, a study published in “The Journals of Gerontology: Series A” found. The gap is apparently evident in younger men and already exists in men in their 20s. Researchers conducted a “rare study design,” comparing how rapidly men and women in opposite-sex twin pairings aged.

They were grouped into younger (21 to 42 years) and older (50 to 76 years), finding in most groups that the male sibling was approximately one year biologically older than his female counterpart.

To measure their biological ages, scientists used several epigenetic clocks.

Epigenetic clocks use algorithms to calculate and provide an estimate for biological age in years using DNA methylation levels from a blood sample.

“These pairs have grown in the same environment and share half of their genes. The difference may be explained, for example, by sex differences in genetic factors and the beneficial effects of the female sex hormone estrogen on health,” Anna Kankaanpää, doctoral researcher at the Gerontology Research Center and the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences said.

The participants’ general health — such as their body mass index, levels of smoking and drinking and how active they are — were also assessed, and are factors that may affect the speed of their aging.

“We observed a sex difference in aging pace, which was not explained by lifestyle-related factors,” Kankaanpää said.

 

Despite an aging gap between the genders, it has reportedly reduced over time, with researchers claiming this is due to men’s smoking rates declining.


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