Women might mature much faster than men, but the reverse is true when it comes to aging, and a new scientific study has come out to prove it.
The study, recently published in The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, set out to find out how the passage of time effects the biological sexes differently.
How does one possibly measure biological age differences? Using epigenetic clocks.
An epigenetic clock is a biochemical test to measure age. It tests DNA by measuring the accumulation of methyl groups that are present in your particular DNA molecules.
The study, led by Anna Kankaanpää, MSc, of the Gerontology Research Center (GEREC) in Finland, found
that men age faster physically, but at a rate that has been shrinking over time.
The gap reached its peak in the mid 1970s, when men were aging at a rate approximating 9 years ahead of female counterparts. Fast forward and today, that “age gap” has shrunk to only about 5.4 years.
There were two broad categories taken into account: biological (genetic, hormonal) and non-biological (environment, cultural, economic, etc). Both were considered when calculating physical aging in subjects of the study.
Researchers suggest that the narrowing gap of mortality can likely be contributed to declining smoking rates among men, as a person’s general health, smoking, and drinking habits were certainly considered factors in the study.
Life expectancy for men in the U.S.A. remains lower than that of women. Maybe with a change in lifestyle, that gap can close even more.