Ladies: Gaining Those Pounds Today May Mean Your Independence Tomorrow
So we gals thought we had an inherent biological superiority when it came to longevity. It now appears that women, though likely to live longer than men, are are up to two and a half times more likely to suffer from disabilities
Researchers at the Duke University Medical Center found that women, 65 and over, are more likely to suffer arthritis and obesity which account for up to 48% of the gender gap in disability, and most often, loss of their independence in their old age.
“The reason for this discrepancy in disability has not been well understood, but we found that chronic health conditions that women experience in greater numbers than men may explain part of that gap,” says Harvey Jay Cohen, MD, senior author of the study and director of Duke’s Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development.
Women have a natural tendency to gain more weight than men over their life span, but they may be more motivated to work harder to maintain a healthy weight “if they realize that those extra pounds make it more likely that they will be disabled in later years, potentially becoming a burden to their children or requiring a nursing home.”