Navigation Links
Competing for a mate can shorten lifespan
Date:8/9/2010

BOSTON, Mass. (Aug 9, 2010) "Love stinks!" the J. Geils band told the world in 1980, and while you can certainly argue whether or not this tender and ineffable spirit of affection has a downside, working hard to find it does. It may even shorten your life.

A new study shows that ratios between males and females affect human longevity. Men who reach sexual maturity in a context in which they far outnumber women live, on average, three months less than men whose competition for a mate isn't as stiff. The steeper the gender ratio (also known as the operational sex ratio), the sharper the decline in lifespan.

"At first blush, a quarter of a year may not seem like much, but it is comparable to the effects of, say, taking a daily aspirin, or engaging in moderate exercise," says Nicholas Christakis, senior author on the study and professor of medicine and medical sociology at Harvard Medical School as well as professor of sociology at Harvard University's Faculty of Arts and Sciences. "A 65-year-old man is typically expected to live another 15.4 years. Removing three months from this block of time is significant."

These results are published in the August issue of the journal Demography.

An association between gender ratios and longevity had been established through studies of animals before, but never in humans. To search for a link in people, Christakis collaborated with researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the University of Wisconsin and Northwestern University. The researchers looked at two distinct datasets.

First, they examined information from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, a long-term project involving individuals who graduated from Wisconsin high schools in 1957. The researchers calculated the gender ratios of each high-school graduating class, then ascertained how long the graduates went on to live. After adjusting for a multitude of factors, they discovered that, 50 years later, men from classes with an excess of boys did not live as long as men whose classes were gender-balanced. By one measurement, mortality for a 65-year-old who had experienced a steeper sex ratio decades earlier as a teenager was 1.6 percent higher than one who hadn't faced such stiff competition for female attention.

Next, the research team compared Medicare claims data with census data for a complete national sample of more than 7 million men throughout the United States and arrived at similar results (for technical reasons, the study was unable to evaluate results for women who outnumbered men at sexual maturity).

Much attention has been paid to the deleterious social effects of gender imbalances in countries such as China and India, where selective abortion, internal migration and other factors have in some areas resulted in men outnumbering women by up to twenty percent. Such an environment, already associated with a marked increase in violence and human trafficking, appears to shorten life as well.

The researchers have not investigated mechanisms that might account for this phenomenon, but Christakis suspects that it arises from a combination of social and biological factors. After all, finding a mate can be stressful, and stress as a contributor to health disorders has been well documented.

Says Christakis, "We literally come to embody the social world around us, and what could be more social than the dynamics of sexual competition?"


'/>"/>

Contact: David Cameron
david_cameron@hms.harvard.edu
617-432-0441
Harvard Medical School
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Are the Cops Now Competing With Disney?
2. Complications Shorten Stroke Patients Lives
3. Awake sedation for brain surgery may shorten hospital stay
4. Can Menopause Be Shortened? Dr. Ershadi Discusses Possibility
5. Childhood cancer survivors may face shortened lifespan, study reveals
6. Difficulty trusting and reaching out to others may shorten diabetes patients lives
7. Pill Wont Shorten Your Life: Study
8. Extending lifespan has mixed effects on learning and memory
9. Perhaps a longer lifespan, certainly a longer health span
10. LifeSpan Fitness Equipment Available at Fitness4HomeOnline.com
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... April 26, 2017 , ... Datos Health , ... partnership with Med-e-Mass , the largest Electronic Medical Records (EMR) provider in South ... care plan incentives to a patient’s remote health progress, empowering the patient to take ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... ... Miami native and local periodontist Dr. John Paul Gallardo is celebrating ... 1991 that this journey would have taken me into so many learning experiences both ... has pioneered implant dentistry innovation, evolving into an internationally recognized leader in the industry. ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... April 26, 2017 , ... ... and domain expertise for sponsors and CROs to speed clinical development, has ... (RTSM) software platform. Bioclinica AGILE RTSM provides seamless clinical supply ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... an agreement to be the preferred physical therapy provider for Derby City CrossFit, ... to Derby City CrossFit as quickly and effectively as possible, ProRehab’s sports physical ...
(Date:4/25/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 25, 2017 , ... ... Liberty attempts to compare student test score performance for the 2015-16 school year ... the state’s voucher programs. Though it highlights important patterns in student test score ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/24/2017)... , April 24, 2017 SW Safety Solutions, ... and comfort, announces the release of the latest advancement ... most recent example of leading edge nitrile glove technology ... for 200% more tactile grip on wet and oily ... durability. With TracTek and a suite of other advanced ...
(Date:4/20/2017)...  Cogentix Medical, Inc. (NASDAQ: CGNT), a global ... Uro/Gyn and Gynecology markets with innovative and proprietary ... the Company as Senior Vice President, Marketing & ... Keswani will report directly to Darin Hammers ... is delighted that Ash has joined the Cogentix ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... , April 20, 2017 Research ... "Global Biosimilar Pipeline and Market Prospects: Addressing Production Complexities ... to their offering. ... "Global Biosimilar Pipeline and Market Prospects: Overcoming ... provides an in-depth assessment of the current trends in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: