- Part of Aging and Longevity Series - Aging Series (this doc)
- Aging Men
- WHY MEN DIE EARLIER
- 1. Survival to Birth : -9 months to 0
- 2. Survival of Baby Boys to Young Adults : 0 to 25 years
- Survival advantages of Boys less, but Girl abuse and malnutrition common
- Infant Mortality 2x higher for boy babies
- Victimization of Boys
- INTRUDER MALE
- Male Brain : Adventure Seeking, Alertness, High Strung, Activity Levels
- Women are more communications focused, verbal and social, Men less so
- Lack of Reason and Fear
- Teenagers to Adult - Much Early Death
- 3. Men Die Earlier - Risk Takers, Aggressors, Sex Drive : 25 to 55 years
- 4. Elderly Men - 10 years less lifespan : 55 to 65-70 years
- 5. Wise Old Men Healthy Lifespan : 65-70 to 95 years
- 6. The Male Survivors and the Longevity Future : 70 to 120+ years
Survival Differences from Birth
WHY MEN DIE EARLIER
1. Survival to Birth : -9 months to 0
Sperm Creation and Mutation
The sperm are manufactured in the testicles of the father, which hang outside the body, but even at a slightly lower temperature they process is subject to defects and mutations at random in the sperm. Further exposure to radiation outside the body increases the chances Lethal mutations are more likely to exist on the Y than on the X chromosome.
Survival and toxins in Sperm stores
All sperm, male or female, suffer from assaults from radiation and toxins that corrupt their DNA. The quality and amount of semen in ejaculate has been decreasing throughout the world over the past 50 years; the reference value for a normal sperm count has decreased threefold since the 1940s.
Men's age does matter especially in sperm quality and defects - in essence a QUALITATIVE biological clock that defines their period of optimal fertility. Compared with 30-year-old men, 50-year-old men have less semen volume and sperm motility, and the percentage of normal sperm drops sharply.
Overall fertility declines as there is a 20 percent increase in the time it takes to conceive when the father is older than 50.
Associated with this decrease in the amount of sperm produced is a rise in testicular cancer, which has increased two- to four-fold over the past 50 years.
Studies suggest that the decrease is the result of environmental toxins that impact the unborn child. Even a small increase in environmental toxins can have a disproportionately harmful effect on sperm because of the very high content of fat in seminal fluid, in which sperm are packed. Fat is a preferential storage place for toxic materials as humans at the top of the food pyramid accumulate in their fat millions of times more toxins than present in the environment.
Studies show that male-coded sperm are more fragile, have less energy, and only last few days than female-coded sperm
For example the greatest incidence of male birth defects occur in areas with the greatest use of pesticides.
Boy sperm are Fragile in Conception Process
Conception occurs when the sperm finds an egg. However first swim through feet of vaginal acidic and up the fallopian tubes - of course of 250 million odd sperm per ejaculation, perhaps only few hundreds of thousands survive this journey. Even there, they have to stay alive for hours or many days. In this context male-coded sperms are very fragile with little staying power compared to female-coded sperms.
Ovum which lies well within the abdomen, are mostly sheltered from assaults from radiation and toxins that corrupt their DNA.
The eggs are dropped and viable only after ovulation.
Even at the egg, the sperm also have to fight through the ova's tough and thick shell.
Sperm are rich in molecules (unsaturated fatty acids) that keep it fluid enough to fuse with the egg it’s fertilizing, but its membrane is delicately structured and therefore very vulnerable. If the victorious sperm is carrying a Y chromosome, the fertilized ovum develops into a male, but if carries an X chromosome the embryo will be female.
The first one through is a winner as it triggers a reaction whereby others are blocked much more effectively. fighting through is a moderator
However AFTER creating the female zygote, the
Even after latching onto the side of the womb, the male zygote has a higher chance of self aborting.
High preterm mortality of boys is due to several factors
Male Fetus are less likely to survive in womb than females
In first trimester, the ratio of miscarriages of boys to girls after 16–19 weeks of pregnancy is 248:100. This is a great leveler of the sex ratio. Simple math of 1.7/2.48 is 0.7 ie far fewer boys than girls would reach second trimester. However this is flawed way to calculate as the majority of pregnancies don't miscarry.
So by the time pregnancies mature to term, the ratio of males to females is about equal. In fact, the sex ratio at birth is remarkably constant across various human populations, with 105 to 107 male births for every 100 female births.
A better calculation is to assume Mg% miscarriages overall as a percentage. To explain that final ratio is remarkably 1:1 then
Girls out of 1000 = 1000*1/2.7 Girl Survivors = this * (1-Mg) Boys out of 1000 = 1000*1.7/2.7 Boy Survivors = this * 1 - 2.48 Mg) Assuming Girl Survivors = Boy Survivors, and solving for Mg we get Mg = 22%
Some factors why this happens are theorized as
Boys experience higher rates of infection than girls in the womb as boys may have a less-competent immune system
Mothers are sometimes allergic to the male fetus they carry. Their auto-immune response takes the form of an inflamed placenta compromising fetal nutrition and making miscarriage more likely
POORER LUNG DEVELOPMENT. Two-thirds of fetuses with immature lung development are male usually in the second trimester is an important factor in producing premature rupture of the membranes and early labor. Baby's male androgens delay lung maturation and the production of surfactant, the material that lines the inner surface of the lungs and makes gas exchange efficient in the newborn.
Mothers who carry boys have a higher rate of gestational diabetes and produce larger-than-normal babies. These mothers also suffer failure to progress during labor and have sons whose umbilical cords prolapse or have true knots, compromising blood supply to the fetus
Gender-specific medicine has recently found that Human chorionic gonadotrophin hormone controlling the amount of blood supplied to the uterus and placenta, varies in concentration as a function of the sex of the baby. It is less abundant in the third trimester of pregnancy with males, meaning that blood flow supplying the placenta and uterus is lower in those cases.
Abnormal fetal size, either overly large or overly small, is associated with more cerebral palsy in boys.
Girls have higher levels of sympathetic hormones than boys which help survive delivery, enabling them to generate higher heart rates to cope with the demands of the last hours of labor. This protects them from anoxic damage to the brain and other tissues. In contrast boys often develop slower-than-normal heart rates.
Ironically, even though boys are more vulnerable to maternal stress there is evidence that a male fetus whose mother is stressed has an impaired ability to defend himself against stress or respond to intrauterine challenges by regulating the production of stress hormones in his own adrenal glands. Even if the baby does survive to birth, study data suggest, boys are less able than girls to mount an adequate response to stresses after they are born.
2. Survival of Baby Boys to Young Adults : 0 to 25 years
Survival advantages of Boys less, but Girl abuse and malnutrition common
At birth male are already six weeks behind. Their lungs are more vulnerable - so less likely to survive first few weeks!
Infant Mortality 2x higher for boy babies
Boys grow faster and achieve larger size than girls under normal conditions but any abusive lifestyles and stress hurts them lot more. The most important predictors of newborn mortality include:-
Low birth weight
Immature lung development is another. The whole foundation of 7 months guideline for prematurity is based on lung development. This is due to inadequate amounts of surfactant, the lubricant that lines the air sacs and allows lungs to inflate and deflate properly 30-60 times a minute. Maternal diabetes is an important cause of lung immaturity in boys: These babies have even higher levels of testosterone, which further blocks the production of the surfactant.
Smoking (including second hand smoke) during pregnancy has a bigger impact on the male fetus; it retards growth and even produces males with significantly reduced head circumference. So chain-smoking Billie-Bob or Macho Jose or Big Black mates can really hurt their own sons development.
Drug use (heroin and cocaine) during pregnancy that significantly decreases birth size affects males more than females. IF they do make it out of the womb baby boys are plagued with brain hemorrhage, significant congenital malformations, aspiration pneumonia, infection, and urinary tract infections
The impact of Low birth weight and prematurity is more severe for males: Very low birth weight boys suffer a much higher rate of death than do their low birth weight sisters. Once they exit the womb, boys have less hope for survival than girls. They are 1.5–2.0 times more likely to die at birth.
2000 study by the National Institute of Child Health showed that mortality for such males was 22 percent and for girls 15 percent.
Even in advanced countries overall infant mortality for boys was 23 percent higher than that for girls.
This disparity in survival has persisted despite improved methods of ventilating these tiny or even premature babies, giving steroids to the mother before she gives birth, and, more recently, using surfactant therapy to help the lungs of male children develop.
Of course advanced countries have reduced infant mortality a lot, but there is a lot left to do in emerging countries especially in India and Africa.
Victimization of Boys
Trauma and Abuse
Boys experience 48.5 percent of childhood abuse; they are more likely than girls to experience physical abuse as well as general and medical neglect - 1997 survey by the Department of Health and Human Services
At least 6% of boys 1-4 year old are murdered.
In the animal kingdom, it is well known that the new male lion who takes over a female pride will kill the prior competitors pups. Similarly often in the great apes.
- Hostile male unrelated to baby rates are known as “intruder males” and often kill pups because doing so stops lactation in the mother, rendering her ready to conceive. [It has been found that] in response to the presence of a new male, the rat babies immediately develop elevated levels of stress hormone, stop vocalization, avoid the adult intruder, and “freeze” in an effort to escape his attention - [a reaction similar to avoiding predators]. - Wiedenmayer and Barr
Considering that 50% of marriages end up in divorce, the battering of women is sadly common, and often women seek male companionship for support. Then exposure of children to "Intruder males" is very common in western societies. Similarly in Asian societies, there still are common "undivided families" where elderly males can dominate social relations, controlling farming or occupations like shopkeeping.
So while both children may be subjected to repeated violence or murdered by a stepfather or visiting male, it is more likely that boys are targeted more than girls.
Possibly the murder of boys may happen in particular as boys are seen as a threat to rival males or alternate partners who can't stand other males' offspring.
Male Brain : Adventure Seeking, Alertness, High Strung, Activity Levels
Many parents have noted their boys from birth as enormously energetic and adventurous.
Males have an unique vulnerability to risk-taking and impulsive behavior that can often prove fatal.
Brains of adult men are 10-20% larger than women.
More white matter in male brains. White matter is involved in sending and accepting messages to relatively distant sites than women. This white matter is thought to be the reason men are more adept and better at muscle control and at spatial tasks. Men of all societies that have been tested also show a greater ability to understand the characteristics of three-dimensional objects in space.
Restless Alertness. Men have higher metabolic activity in the limbic brain an evolutionarily older parts of men’s brains even at rest system. This makes them particularly alert to objects or people entering their field of vision from the periphery - keeping them on the edge yet serving as an evolutionary survival advantage. This alertness is not just for hunting, but also intense in "seduction" - this also makes the males easy to anger in jealously or in seducing mates.
Conceptual Playing with Objects. From early on, boys like playing with objects rather than with girls. Even male vervet monkeys prefer to play with trucks. Men of all societies that have been tested also show a greater ability to understand the characteristics of three-dimensional objects in space. As they get older, this manifests in career choices oriented to things like physicist, chemist, mathematician, computer programmer, and biologist. -- Steven Pinker, Harvard psychologist
Women are more communications focused, verbal and social, Men less so
Even in first few days, newborn boys are more interested in objects and newborn girls in faces.
Women tend to focus and develop social networks or interrelationships with others. Men far less so throughout life.
Women are more likely to be involved in the care of children in greater family and tribe.
Men are more loners and likely to travel over a greater spatial range than women. While they can be part and function in groups it is often with constant strife and challenges to each other. The classic "dick-rivalry" is a facet of this.
This lack of social support may help to explain the underestimated scope of depression in men and, moreover, compared to women, the much greater likelihood that they will commit suicide.
Lack of Reason and Fear
That boys take more risks is an undisputed male characteristic that makes them willing to engage in more dangerous pursuits, and contributes, particularly during their adolescence, to the high incidence of “unintentional injuries that cause nearly 50 percent of their deaths before the age of 25.” -- Steven Pinker, Harvard psychologist
The proper levels of fear are clearly very important to survival. No wonder horror movies use girls even as teens as "screamers".
Fear expressions develop significantly later in boys than girls.
Teenagers to Adult - Much Early Death
Development and height is behind females even into early teens The area of the brain for judgement and decision-making are less developed in adolescent boys than girls.
In teens, 20% of death in boys is due to suicide, murder or reckless behavior - in addition to other accidents.
3. Men Die Earlier - Risk Takers, Aggressors, Sex Drive : 25 to 55 years
Young Men Die Earlier
For millions of years, men’s ability to provide food, security and shelter and to protect territory and property from predators and marauders was essential to our survival. So men (even in great apes) evolved greater size, muscle mass, and bone weight of men and the ability of testosterone to mute physical pain.
But all this is not as relevant in a weapon's world where gun levels. Also in civil society in which complex global businesses are successfully conducted without the need for speed, strength, or endurance.
Gender Emotional EQ - Depression, Sex Drive, Stress
Sex Roles and Drive
As a species survival depended on males’ ability to fertilize as many females as possible.
However, the social contract of accommodating many couples vs one lion controlling the entire pride. Women were relegated to child care and housework.
Further in modern society, it is a severe crime to rape, and even sexual harassment led to demands to mute sexual advances and aggression cannot be without consequences.
4. Elderly Men - 10 years less lifespan : 55 to 65-70 years
Why 65-70 is retirement for Social Security - Because most die by then!
Men Stress, Type A, Poorer Immune Systems
Men immune systems are poorer than women and they suffer more intensely from seven of the ten most common infections that afflict humans.
Men Bad Habits NCDs - Fatty food, meat
Cardiac diseases start in men by mid-thirties Cardiac death is the main cause of death for men after age of 35.
24% of all men die of Cardiac diseases at twice the rate of women over lifetimes.
Women's estrogen protects them so well that very few have any symptoms of heart disease till 55 or 20 years after men ie women hit menopause.
Generations in the West and East
- Great Generation born in 1946 - 3.4m
Boomers 100m or 28% of adult US population are
By age of 85 women outnumber men 2.2 to 1, and by 90s 3 to 1.
- By 2030, over 20% will be over 65, 35% over 50
Western Separate Nuclear and Separated Lives
The common theme is that from age of 18 kids are "kicked out" of parents' home or go to college, and then never come back home.
MOBILE Career, Professionalism. Nuclear families, moving all around the country has deprived children from the contact with grandparents common to Asian cultures. Ours is a society where you are judged by how much you earn and how much power you wield often by vacations or cars or other toys.
Dual Income Couples are common - often to afford housing in NIMBY coastal cities.
HIRING of BABY-SITTERS and Impersonal CHILD-CARE. We hire outside workers to care for children and make the older family members feel unwanted and unneeded.
High cost of Divorce and Separation. At minimum wages and even far above, there are severe financial demands of keeping separate households.
Married APART from in-laws. Most young married couples elect to separate from their families and, in doing so, lose precious resources that might considerably lighten the burden of child care, and financial demands of many separate households.
Delayed Retirement is common, Layoffs cause severe depression instead of Helping or Depending on Kids. Retirement can be a death sentence. Depression, feelings of worthlessness, and the physiological problems they create are serious issues.
Till pushed out, often the common refrain of the older workers is - “Why would I retire? So I could be one of those guys who doesn’t know what he’s talking about anymore and is the worst golfer on the course?” The cost of retraining and special skill sets are valuable. Even the Corporations that once imposed mandatory retirements are trying to retain older workers with accommodations such as flex time and telecommuting - "to convince older employees to forgo the leisurely pleasures of the golf course for the frenetic pace of the office”.
The incidence of female depression throughout the world is said to be twice that of men— except for India, where there are whole networks of relatives folded into common households, sharing chores and child rearing
Smoking and Men
Cancers affect Men more
5. Wise Old Men Healthy Lifespan : 65-70 to 95 years
Rapid Loss of Function with Aging
We are forced to suffer a rapid loss of function as we age.
Vision loss, deafness, and even a decrease in the ability to smell and taste are all penalties exacted by longer life. Balance problems, loss of muscle mass and strength, and joints stiffened and painful with arthritis are all things many aging men have to deal with.
Death after Retirement
Within a year he was on beta-blockers for a failing heart, which left him so weakened that he planned only one excursion a day: Going for his groceries was enough of an outing, and he calculated how to get to the store without climbing a hill or having to walk very far. His appetite decreased; he ate much less than he had in the past. He seldom left the apartment. His calls to his children became less and less frequent.
Talk about New Rules of Engagement
We have been accustomed to being kings of the hill before retiring, often paying for kids expenses, hosting parties, paying for weddings, etc. But now as we age, is a time when you want increased patience and gentleness from friends and children, not irritation with the more limited person you have become as you’ve grown older.
Loneliness and Depression in Elderly Men
- Women suffer from depression twice as often, in nearly all countries In contrast women seek help from friends and family as well as seek therapy and counseling.
Men have No Preparation for Depression
However is this due men simply hiding their pain from others. Men are told "Suck it up" and go to war! Apparently men vent their emotions in anger and destructive violence, while women suffer from depression.
At least 14 percent of older people are significantly depressed and would benefit from either psychotherapy or an antidepressant.
Depression was potentially lethal in men and was associated with a 1.67-fold increase in mortality—which was not true for depressed women. - Dutch study of 4,051 older people over a six-year period
Loneliness common in Elderly
Long term care and Concern about Health of Elder Parents
Finances in Retirement
Warehousing of Elderly
We now routinely hide away our elderly alone at home or in old-age-homes. Society encourages them to live apart from the nuclear family in separate, often supervised living facilities with paid aides to care for the most feeble. Sadly, while the parents sacrificed to raise their kids, often not one of them can be found to care for her when they grow old.