Every one has to, but no one wants to, grow old.
The process of aging strips men and women of the youthful vitality all wish was still part of their lives. As our years increase in number, our hormones decrease in quantity. Is this just a coincidence, or is the agerelated decline in hormone levels responsible for all, or at least some of, the senior slowdown? What would happen if we rejuvenated our hormone supplies? This chapter provides answers to the common questions about men and testosterone, DHEA, growth hormone, and melatonin.
Today, all of us are living longer than ever. Even before Congress ordained that those living to age sixty-five would be considered "old" and qualify for Medicare, the numbers of men in and above this age had been increasing exponentially. (When Medicare was enacted, a man's life expectancy was only sixty-seven, making it a safe bet that no man would linger for too many years at the Medicare trough. But when Medicare was conceived, the actuaries advising Congress must have been looking at absolute numbers and ignoring trends.)
In 1900, only 3.1 million men were sixty-five years or older, whereas by 1997, the number of men in this age group was 33.9 million, an elevenfold increase. This trend is expected to continue, and it is likely that by 2030, there will be more than 70 million men in the sixty-five-plus age group! (Figure 27.1 on page 374.)
But the numbers of men living longer and longer doesn't just stop at age sixty-five. Men currently in the 65-74 age group have increased eightfold since the turn of the century. Even the group of men classified as "old old" is adding to its roster. Today, the absolute numbers of men age eighty-five and older is now thirty-one times greater than in 1900.