Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Longevity in women

I was reading an article on longevity in women. In addition to questions about menopause, age at first pregnancy etc., the questionnaire included questions on smoking and drinking. The alcohol question completely baffled me. It made no sense,
“Alcohol use was assessed using a health-seeking behavior questionnaire during the physical assessment. The question was “Do you try to avoid the use of alcohol?” The answers were “don’t try at all,” “try a little,” or “try a lot.” “
I was thinking how I would answer. I had a 6 oz. glass of red wine on November 4 and November 18 with dinner in a restaurant. That’s it. So am I “trying to avoid it” or am I “trying a lot to avoid it?” I didn’t order a 12 oz. or a second or third glass. There was no trying going on at all—I just know if I want to walk out of the restaurant rather than be carried out, I’ll just have one small glass. 

 The people being asked were centenarians born between 1881-1895 (study began in 1988). Those ladies were probably too polite to tell the researchers that they made no sense. And really, if a 105 year old woman wants a little libation, who is going to say, “It’s not good for your health, Grammy?”

When I looked through the “Discussion” section of the paper (2017) it used the weasel words meaning they didn’t find anything so therefore it needed more study. I did see one sentence that jumped out at me which they didn’t pursue at all: “ The introduction of “the Pill” [artificial hormones] in 1960 caused the fertility of women to change forever.” I wonder what else it has changed, don’t you? Maybe 3 generations of women on the pill produce a 4th who is a 10 year old who is confused about whether she’s a boy or girl?

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