Have you heard people joke around that women live longer than men? Well, what if we told you this statement is actually true? A recent study found that while it isn't exactly understood why women live longer than men, there are more reasons than just the typical riskier behaviour of some men. This also includes smoking and drinking alcohol. It is also thought to be in part due to oestrogen protecting women from heart disease.
Researchers looked into cellular ageing to understand what causes men to die earlier than women. One major biological difference right from birth is that women have low telomeres - these protect the DNA from rapid degeneration. Telomers play an important part in health longevity and scientists have been aware of this fact for quite some time. A lot of research has also been done on what can be done to protect telomers.
Dr Elissa Epel, head researcher of the study, said, “Some experimental studies suggest that oestrogen exposure increases the activity of telomerase, the enzyme that can protect and elongate telomeres. We look forward to what promises to be a fascinating presentation with implications for slowing telomere attrition and age-related conditions.” Stay tuned for more updates.