Women are different than men. Obvious, right? But what isn’t so obvious is that gender makes a difference in the way men and women experience disease.

Here are the top 4 diseases that affect men and women very differently:

Heart Disease

Heart disease may be the leading cause of death in the United States for both women and men, but it isn’t the same for both.

Men develop heart disease an average ten years earlier than women. And yet, more women die each year of heart disease than men. Moreover, although men as a group experience more heart attacks, women are less likely than men to survive a first heart attack. This may be because women don’t experience what are considered the “classic symptoms” of heart attack. Click here for a discussion of the different ways in which men and women experience heart attacks.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, in which the bones become brittle and fragile, would appear to be the exact opposite of heart disease: the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) says that osteoporosis is three times more common in women than in men, yet it is more deadly in men.

One reason for this may be that men are less likely to be treated for osteoporosis. As a result, the toll on their health is much greater. For example, men are more than twice as likely as women to die within one year of a hip fracture. So, while men are less likely to have osteoporosis, those who do are in greater danger.

Depression

Depression, so common that it is called the “common cold” of mental illness, does not affect men and women equally: women are twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with depression.

It has long been thought that depression is less likely to be diagnosed in men, but recent studies suggest that men respond to stress differently than women. In a situation in which a woman is likely to become depressed, these studies say, men are more likely to develop alcohol or drug dependencies.

Autoimmune Diseases

There are over 80 known types of autoimmune disease, a condition in which a person’s immune system mistakes a person’s healthy cells for diseased cells, and attacks them.

In general, autoimmune diseases are twice as common in women as in men. But three of the most common autoimmune diseases: lupus, multiple sclerosis (MS), and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), are three times more likely to strike women than men.

The difference between men and women has been noted since the beginning of time. However, when it comes to health, this difference requires serious attention.

Beacon of LIFE, a government-approved PACE program in Oceanport, NJ, was created to provide seniors, their family, caregivers and professional health care providers the flexibility to meet their health care needs while continuing to live in their community.

Beacon of LIFE maintains an interdisciplinary team of professionals who give each client — man and female —  the coordinated care they need. Our staff specialize in working with older people, and work with each client and their family to develop the most effective plan of care.

We provide a variety of services, including primary care, hospital care, medical specialty services, prescription drugs, nursing home care, emergency services, home care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, adult day care, recreational therapy, meals, dentistry, nutritional counseling, social services, laboratory / X-ray services, social work counseling, and transportation.

Our care and services allow people who would otherwise need to live in a nursing home to live where they want — in their own communities, in their own homes.

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