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Why do women live longer than men?

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Korean 500-year study of royal records shows that men who can't use their penis live much longer (castrated eunuchs who looked after king's wives). 



Photo above one of the earliest photographs of Korean ruling class or Yan-ban, taken in 1863 (Source: Wikipedia).

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Health

'Testosterone' is reason women outlive men

24/09/2012
AFP News agency
Agence France-Presse

Scientists said Monday they have new evidence about why women live longer than men, from a study of historical data showing castrated Koreans far outlived their non-eunuch contemporaries.

The study, published in the scientific journal "Current Biology,'' used detailed genealogical records of the Imperial nobility during Korea's Joseon dynasty, which spanned more than 500 years from the late 1300s to the early 1900s.

According to the data, most men, including kings and royal family members, died in their late-40s or early-50s.

But noble-class eunuchs - men who were castrated either by accident or because of social benefits - lived, on average, to the ripe, old age of 70.

Study author Kyung-Jin Min of South Korea's Inha University, told AFP the reason is probably that manly hormone, testosterone.

"Testosterone is known to increase the incidence of coronary heart disease and reduce immune function in males,'' he said.

Castration "removes the source of male sex hormones,'' the study notes, adding the practice has already been proven to help many male animals live longer."
Castration also cuts off the possibility of reproduction, which Kyung-Jin noted could also be a factor.

According to "one of the leading theories of aging, aging occurs at the expense of reproduction,'' he said, because the body has limited energy that can be used either to keep up reproductive function, or else to keep up everything else.

But although the eunuchs could not father children biologically, they married, adopted and raised children, and generally lived lives very similar to their non-castrated peers.

"In order to eliminate socioeconomic factors that could have affected lifespan, the lifespan of the eunuchs was compared to the lifespan of men from other Yan-ban (noble class) families with a similar socioeconomic status,'' Kyung-Jin said

And "to exclude genetic factors that could have affected the lifespan, we compared the lifespan of eunuchs with multiple Yan-ban families.''

Modern men looking to extend their lifespan could consider "testosterone reduction therapy,'' but Kyung-Jin said it's probably premature.

For one thing, it is not clear if it would have an effect if the therapy were started at an older age - the eunuchs were all castrated as children.

And for another, the therapy could have side effects that some men may feel make that longer life less worth living.

"We may need to consider the side effects of it,'' Kyung-Jin said, "mainly, reduction of sex drive in males.''

(Source: Bangkok Post, Health, 'Testosterone' is reason women outlive men, 24/09/2012, AFP News agency, Agence France-Presse, link


Secrets of Long Life Vocabulary

castration (noun) -  cutting the penis and/or testicles off a male; or "any action, surgical, chemical, or otherwise, by which a male loses the functions of the testicles" (See Wikipedia)
castrate (verb)

testicles - the two round organs that men have that produce sperm (that fertilizes eggs in the woman and makes babies) as well as male sex hormones suchas testosterone, also known as the "balls" (See Wikipedia)

dynasty - a series of related kings (son, brother, grandson) that rule over a kingdom for a period of time
Korea's Joseon dynasty - Chosun dynasty, a state and series of Korean kings that lasted for approximately five centuries (1392 - 1897) (See Wikipedia)

Yan-ban - the ruling class during the Chosun dynasty (See Wikipedia)

noble class - the upper classe or ruling class in a kingdom
Yan-ban (noble class) families

eunuch -
a person who is castrated early in life so that they can look after the king's wives in the palace, not a threat because castration reduces level of hormones in the body thus reducing the sex drive (See Wikipedia)
noble-class eunuchs

sex drive - sexual desire, the thing in the body (from chemicals, physiology) that makes people want to have sex, also called "libido" (See Wikipedia)
sex drive in males

hormone - chemicals in the bodies of humans, animals and plants that control growth as well as sex and reproduction (making babies) 
male sex hormones  

testosterone - the hormone in a man's body that makes his body look and behave like a man (See Wikipedia)
the manly hormone, testosterone

reason - an explanation of an event, why an event happened เหตุ ; เหตุผล ; สาเหตุ 
outlive - live longer than other people
far outlive others  - live a lot longer than other people

'Testosterone' is reason women outlive men

evidence - information that shows and proves something to be true หลักฐาน
new evidence about why women live longer than men

data - facts or information used for making calculations or decisions ข้อมูล
historical data - information about what happened in the past
a study of historical data

contemporaries - people who live at the same time as you live
their non-eunuch contemporaries

castrated
Koreans far outlived their non-eunuch contemporaries

Scientists said Monday they have new evidence about why women live longer than men, from a study of historical data showing castrated Koreans far outlived their non-eunuch contemporaries.

scientific journal - a publication with scientific research (chemistry, physics, engineering, mathematics, etc) that comes out monthly, quartlerly, or yearly
publish in a scientific journal
he study was published in a scientific journal

genealogy (noun) - the search for your family in the past (research to find out about ancestors) (See Wikipedia)
genealogical (adjective)

records - pieces of information describing something written down or stored on a computer บันทึุก
genealogical records

detailed - with lots of details
detailed genealogical records

Imperial - related to the royal family
nobility - the highest class of people in society ชนชั้นสูง
the Imperial nobility during Korea's Joseon dynasty

spanned - lasted throughout a period of time กินเวลา
the late 1300s
the early 1900s
spanned more than 500 years from the late 1300s to the early 1900s

The study, published in the scientific journal "Current Biology,'' used detailed genealogical records of the Imperial nobility during Korea's Joseon dynasty, which spanned more than 500 years from the late 1300s to the early 1900s. According to the data, most men, including kings and royal family members, died in their late-40s or early-50s.

accident -
unplanned (did not plan for or want it to happen)
castrated by accident -
example: fall off your horse, injure your testicles, so they have to be cut off

benefits - goods things that can happen from an activity ผลประโยชน์
social benefits - good things a person can get from social connections and relations (such as serving the royal family as a eunuch)
castrated for social benefits - example: if you get castrated and become a eunuch, you will become part of the ruling class and your whole family will benefit from this

castrated either by accident or because of social benefits

lived
, on average, to the ripe, old age of 70.

coronary heart disease
increase the incidence of coronary heart disease

immune
- cannot be affected by negative events, able to escape from negative events
function - to work or operate in a normal way เป็นปกติ ใช้การได้ปกติ

immune system - the part of the body that protects you from disease and infection (for example, when your skin is cut and bacteria enters the body)
immune function - how well the immune system does its job of fighting disease and infection

reduce immune function in males

But noble-class eunuchs - men who were castrated either by accident or because of social benefits - lived, on average, to the ripe, old age of 70. Study author Kyung-Jin Min of South Korea's Inha University, told AFP the reason is probably that manly hormone, testosterone. "Testosterone is known to increase the incidence of coronary heart disease and reduce immune function in males,'' he said.

source - where something comes from or starts at, or the cause of something ต้นกำเนิด, แหล่งกำเนิด
Castration removes the source of male sex hormones

practice - something that people do regularly; a way of doing something การปฏิบัติ
the practice help male animals live longer

reproduction - making babies
the possibility of reproduction

factor - a fact or situation which influences the result of something ปัจจัย
could also be a factor

theories of aging -
(See Wikipedia)

leading -
the most important
leading theories of aging


X at the expense of Y - more X means less Y
aging occurs at the expense of reproduction

energy
limited energy
the body has limited energy

Castration "removes the source of male sex hormones,'' the study notes, adding the practice has already been proven to help many male animals live longer. Castration also cuts off the possibility of reproduction, which Kyung-Jin noted could also be a factor. According to "one of the leading theories of aging, aging occurs at the expense of reproduction,'' he said, because the body has limited energy that can be used either to keep up reproductive function, or else to keep up everything else.

adopt children - become the parents of other people's children
raise children - look after and take care of needs of child as they grow up
adopted and raised children

peers - people with the same age, job, or status as you, but in a different place เพื่อนร่ีวมสาขาอาชีพ
generally lived lives very similar to their non-castrated peers

factors - the different things that affect the outcome of a situation, event, or decision ปัจจัย
socioeconomic factors

eliminate - get rid of, remove; to remove completely (so that it no longer exists) กำจัดหรือขจัดให้หมดไป
eliminate socioeconomic factors that could have affected lifespan

status - the state of affairs or position at a particular time สถานะ
socioeconomic status - someone's position in the economy and society สถานะทางสังคม

similar - the same or nearly the same
with a similar socioeconomic status

But although the eunuchs could not father children biologically, they married, adopted and raised children, and generally lived lives very similar to their non-castrated peers. "In order to eliminate socioeconomic factors that could have affected lifespan, the lifespan of the eunuchs was compared to the lifespan of men from other Yan-ban (noble class) families with a similar socioeconomic status,'' Kyung-Jin said.

lifespan - the length of time that a person lives

exclude - to intentionally not include something แยกออกไป
genetic - dealing with the genes and common characteristics that are passed from parent to child ทางพันธุกรรม
exclude genetic factors that could have affected the lifespan

extend - to add more time ยืดออกไป
extend their lifespan

looking to -
planning to do in the future; want to do 
men looking to extend their lifespan

therapy - a treatment which helps someone feel better, grow stronger, etc., especially after an illness การบำบัดโรค
testosterone reduction therapy

premature - happening too soon, too early เร็วเกินไป  too soon to do something ก่อนเวลา ก่อนเวลาอันควร
 it's probably premature.

And "to exclude genetic factors that could have affected the lifespan, we compared the lifespan of eunuchs with multiple Yan-ban families.''  Modern men looking to extend their lifespan could consider "testosterone reduction therapy,'' but Kyung-Jin said it's probably premature.

clear - easy to understand
it is not clear if  ...

side effects - bad things that happen to the body from medicine (a person is taking to treat and cure a disease)

For one thing, it is not clear if it would have an effect if the therapy were started at an older age - the eunuchs were all castrated as children. And for another, the therapy could have side effects that some men may feel make that longer life less worth living. "We may need to consider the side effects of it,'' Kyung-Jin said, "mainly, reduction of sex drive in males.''

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