Women statistically live longer than men. According to the world health organization, (WHO) women live approximately 7 years longer than men on average. This is due to both natural biological differences but also differences in behavior. Of course, this varies by region. In Asia, for example, there are some countries where because of the discrimination that women face they have a lower life expectancy than men. In some countries, the average life expectancy for women is in the 80s while in other countries it is in the low 50s. Yet, generally speaking, women have a health advantage over men. In middle age, women face the threat of more diseases and comparing historically they are at risk of a greater number of diseases. Let’s take a closer look.
An interesting statistic is that if a baby is born a girl it has a better chance of reaching the age of 1 than if it is a boy. This health advantage continues throughout life. Yet women face some health risks, increasing once they reach middle age.
Diabetes is increasing across the world as we continue to modernize. The increased tendency of people to be sedentary, tied with the ease of access to unhealthy foods means that diabetes is increasing. At present diabetes is higher in men than in women but women are increasing quickly. Women who have diabetes do appear to be more at risk of stroke and heart attacks than men who have diabetes.
Similar to diabetes, obesity is a growing problem for women. Due to the same lifestyle changes many more women are now facing the possibility of obesity. Internationally women have a higher rate of obesity than men. This may be partly because of the naturally higher bodyweight that women have but it is also a cause for concern. Being overweight or obese can cause serious complications in health once you reach middle age.
Menopause usually finds women between the ages of 45 and 50 years old. With it, it brings changes to the body that may cause frustration. However, it is a sign that a woman must ensure she is getting check-ups regularly as she now faces higher risk of some diseases. Women can often suffer from weight gain, depression, and hot flushes while going through menopause. The statistics show that once a woman has gone through menopause she is now at a higher risk of cancer. Breast and cervical cancer are two are the most common forms and women should have regular check-ups (both professional and self-checks) to ensure they are in good health.
In middle age, depression happens more to women than to men and it should be something you watch out for. Watch out for signs of depression such as being in a bad mood without a clear reason.
The best way to fight against these diseases is to prevent them. Examine your family history to check what diseases you are most at risk of and have regular check-ups to ensure you are in great health. Eat a healthy and balanced diet full of leafy greens to ensure you are fueling the body in the right way. Becoming middle-aged does not mean your life has to stop but it does mean that you have to do some things differently.
Cut down on alcohol and maintain a healthy weight to remain in the lower risk thresholds of these bigger diseases. Finally, ensure that you keep active and exercise as much as your body allows. For some that may be full gym routines and marathons, for others, it could be short walks in the neighborhood.
Make the right choices in your 40s and 50s and you will approach your 70s in great health. Continue to make bad choices and you will start to encounter countless health problems. If you needed a wake-up call then this article is it.