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Aging and Death

Theories On Aging, Diseases Associated With Aging, Death

Aging is the natural effect of time and the environment on living organisms, and death is its end result. Gerontology is the study of all aspects of aging. No single theory on how and why people age is able to account for all facets of aging. Although great strides have been made to postpone death as the result of certain illnesses, less headway has been made in delaying aging.

Life span is species-specific. Members of the same species have similar life expectancies. In most species, death occurs not long after the reproductive phase of life ends. This is obviously not the case for humans. However, there are some changes that occur in women with the onset of menopause when estrogen levels drop. Post-menopausal women produce less facial skin oil (which serves to delay wrinkling) and are at greater risk of developing osteoporosis (brittle bones). Men continue to produce comparable levels of facial oils and are thus less prone to early wrinkling. Osteoporosis occurs as calcium leaves bones and is used elsewhere; hence, sufficient calcium intake in older women is important because bones which are brittle break more easily.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Adrenoceptor (adrenoreceptor; adrenergic receptor) to Ambient