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Experts in News: Steven Austad and Thomas Perls in The Boston Globe on why women live longer than men

May 3

Experts in News: Steven Austad and Thomas Perls in The Boston Globe on why women live longer than men View MoreBACK

On April 13, 2018, The Boston Globe featured AFAR Scientific Director Steven Austad, Ph.D. and 1998 Paul B. Beeson Emerging Leaders Career Development Award in Aging scholar Thomas T. Perls, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P. in an article exploring gender differences and aging.

Why women live longer than men- and how men will benefit from it” explores how women universally tend to live longer than men and explains different theories of why women may live longer.

Dr. Austad notes that “humans are the only species in which one sex is known to have a ubiquitous survival advantage,” and acknowledges that science has not deeply explored gender differences that affect aging until recently.  “There’s real underlying biology here,” he notes.

The article surveys a range of biological and social theories attributed to female longevity, including the role of the X and Y chromosomes and reproduction.

The feature also spotlights Dr. Perls’ research with centenarians. He emphasizes how understanding the robust healthspans of some centenarians can lead to interventions targeting aging and age-related diseases.

“The hope,” Perls says, “is to translate these discoveries into a much better understanding of what it takes to age so well, to avoid or delay diseases like Alzheimer’s and discovering drugs and other strategies to slow aging and delay or escape aging-related diseases.”

Read the full article here.

Steven N. Austad, Ph.D., is a Distinguished Professor and Department Chair at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. Dr. Austad is also the Director of the Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging at the University of Alabama Birmingham, and Co-Principal Investigator of the Nathan Shock Centers program, for which AFAR serves as the Coordinating Center.

Thomas T. Perls, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P. is a Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine.