Health and Aging Issues: Men vs. Women

Health issues for men and women, from elderly to young, are unique in many ways. Here are some of the gender differences for our elderly parents:

Heart health. Risk factors, along with underlying causes and prescribed treatment regimens can be different for women and men. Certainly, there are hormonal changes within each gender. Secondly, symptoms of a heart attack can be different for women, who experience the characteristic chest pain and shortness of breath. Also, symptoms such as back pain and nausea.

Brain health. Research data tells us that women are at higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease and several other types of dementia. In part, this is simply because women live longer, and the risk rises with age. But a women’s reproductive history, education and hormonal differences might also effect changes. Alzheimer’s can be more challenging to diagnose in women.

Bone health. Women have smaller, thinner bones than men. And hormone changes after menopause raise the risk of osteoporosis, a loss of bone that can lead to weakening. Falls resulting in injury may cause fractures or bone breaks. This, then, results in rehab, recovery, and behavior modifications. Approximately 80% of people with osteoporosis are women.

Incontinence. Older men may experience incontinence, but it occurs twice as often in women. Elderly females, past the age of menopause, are much more likely to experience incontinence. Partially, this can be explained by weakening of the pelvic muscles with age, a greater susceptibility to urinary tract infections, and even lingering effects of pregnancy and childbirth.

Depression and anxiety. These conditions are twice as common among women, due in part to hormonal imbalances, changes in life circumstances, health problems and financial worries.

JD Miller

About JD Miller

John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. Phone: (781) 378-2164 Email: [email protected] Website:

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