Sex differences in frailty among older adults.
By definition, aging is a natural, gradual and continuous process. On the other hand, frailty reflects the increase in vulnerability to stressors and shortens the time without disease (health span) while longevity refers to the length of life (lifespan). The average life expectancy has significantly increased during the last few decades. A longer lifespan has been accompanied by an increase in frailty and decreased independence in older adults, with major differences existing between men and women. For example, women tend to live longer than men but also experience higher rates of frailty and disability. Sex differences prevent optimization of lifestyle interventions and therapies to effectively prevent frailty. Sex differences in frailty and aging are rooted in a complex interplay between uncontrollable (genetic, epigenetic, physiological), and controllable factors (psychosocial and lifestyle factors). Thus, understanding the underlying causes of sex differences in frailty and aging is essential for developing personalized interventions to promote healthy aging and improve quality of life in older men and women. In this review, we have discussed the key contributors and knowledge gaps related to sex differences in aging and frailty.
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