John W. S.
We are no longer a youthful society. The proportion of individuals at
different ages has become increasingly similar. Since the beginning of
recorded history, life span, the maximum number of years an
individual can live, has remained at approximately 120 to 125 years
of age. Since 1900, improvement in medicine, nutrition, exercise, and
lifestyle have increased our life expectancy an average of 30 additional years.
In industrialized countries, the number of centenarians (individual 100
years and older) is increasing at a rate of approximately 7% each
year. In the
1980, a number that had risen to 77,000 in 2000, and it is projected
that this number will reach more than 800,00 by 2050. It is estimated
that 75 to 100 super centenarians (individuals 110 years or older) in
expect that “the older you get, the sicker you get.”
However, researchers are finding that is not true for some
centenarians. Nobel-winning chemist Linus Pauling argued that vitamin
C slow down the aging process.
However there is a difference in life expectancy between male and
female. The overall life expectancy for female is 80.7 years of age,
male 75.4 years of age. Beginning in the mid-thirties, female out
number male; this gap widen in the remaining of the adult years.
By 75 years of age, more than 61% of the population is female;
for 85 and over, the figure is almost 70% female. Men are more
likely to die from leading causes of death such as cancer of the
respiratory system, motor vehicle accidents, cirrhosis of the liver,
emphysema and coronary heart disease.
In reality all species, females outlive males. Women have more
resistance to infection and degenerative diseases. The female’s
estrogen production helps to protect her from arteriosclerosis
(hardening of the arteries). The additional X chromosome that
women carry in comparison to men may be associated with the
production of more antibodies to fight off disease.