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Wagamaga OP t1_jdnnp4v wrote

After six years spent tracking health outcomes among nearly 925,000 Danish seniors, investigators determined that when a man between the ages of 65 and 69 loses his wife he is 70% more likely to die in the year that follows, when compared with his non-widowed peers.

Among surviving wives, however, that rise in risk was just 27%.

Why the difference? Study author Alexandros Katsiferis said he could only offer a few theories.

"We do not have the data to accurately answer that question, so we cannot be very confident on the reasons why this phenomenon tends to happen," noted Katsiferis, a doctoral fellow with the section for epidemiology in the department of public health at the University of Copenhagen.

But he pointed out that elderly widows may be better than widowers at "absorbing the shock, [including] the hurdles of taking care of a sick husband, along with all the needs and quirks" leading up to the husband's passing.

By contrast, it could be that the "physical and emotional health [of men] relies on the willingness of their spouse to take care of them," he added. "So, when their wife is out of their life, you get this collapse."


Narcan9 t1_jdp35gg wrote

I think older women are better at maintaining social relationships. They have things like weekly coffee groups. If the husband dies they have a better social network to rely on.


YesterdaySimilar2069 t1_jdp441g wrote

Im curious about how these studies will look in another 20-50 years with the blurring of gender roles and improvement in men's support structures. It'll be especially interesting to compare the data of same sex couples. I think the reasons for this are quite complex with regards to women's support structures and them coming from a generation where the woman is expected to take on the lions share of domestic labor, which is the bulk of labor performed after people enter the retirement years. I find that a lot of old men don't appear to have hobbies or volunteer gigs, which are huge life extenders. Yay social sciences. So much theory, no way to prove it. Haha


stu54 t1_jdpab7h wrote

I was thinking the same. Older men's social lives were largely composed of work and wife. After retirement, empty nest, and widowering an old man is left with nothing.


Fantastic_Beans t1_jdpvnsi wrote

Game night with the gents at the retirement home


Prryapus t1_jdqg17c wrote

We're lucky to live in a generation where we're so used to tech. By the time we're this old we'll be able to have system link halo battles like back in the good old days


hananobira t1_jdrp8pp wrote

I’m holding out for the nursing home with the holodeck.


stonedsour t1_jdqzz3f wrote

I believe it. My dad owned a store for many years and was social in that he was friendly to the customers and would say hi to them while out in town. He literally has no hobbies or friends and his life consisted of just going to work, running errands, watching tv and eating dinner, going to sleep, rinse and repeat. Now his store is closed and he still doesn’t have any interest in hobbies and he doesn’t have any close friends. It’s like he doesn’t know how to do those things and it’s pretty sad but he refuses to change


CivilProfit t1_jdq0a95 wrote

Is it really shocking that the generations of men who Abused Women the most as a support system who literally can't survive when the woman that they were abusing as a support system dies?


krum t1_jdpiy6y wrote

danish men can't cook, so they starve


dracuella t1_jdqc3op wrote

I was about to make the same comment (source: Danish woman).

I was sure my dad could cook until he and my mum (finally) split up and went their separate ways. She remarried, he remained single. Most of his diet would consist of Danish ryebread with spread, which isn't necessarily bad but it definitely doesn't cover minerals, vitamins and such. He does cook on and off but let's face it, mostly he can't be arsed.

I'm thinking most of his generation (70+) are the same.


AdEnvironmental4437 t1_jdqh1ri wrote

Idk I'm a Danish and my dad probably does most of the cooking in our house, often alone and i think he's a great cook. We're both being anecdotal tho so whatevs.


Snezzy_9245 t1_jdragkd wrote

All one needs is rødgrød med fløde på. How hard can that be?


tiletap t1_jdrvvh9 wrote

Anecdotally, after my grandmother died in 1983 my grandfather continued for another 25 years, due in large part, I think, to his regular meetups with friends and continuing to swim just about every day.


curtyshoo t1_jdqjbo2 wrote

At any rate, it's a good reason to keep the old bat around.