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Why Men Die Younger Than Women

Men in the United States die more than five years younger than women. For more than the top 10 leading causes of death, men have higher death rates. Their attitudes and behavior are the main cause of men’s shorter lives.

For example, men are both less interested in and knowledgeable about health than women are — and people who less interested in and knowledgeable about health have less healthy behaviors and greater health risks. Men also perceive themselves as less susceptible to disease and injury than women, and this perception further increases their risks.

Whether healthy or ill, women engage in far more health promoting behaviors than men and have much healthier lifestyles. Research shows that men, compared to women...

Have less-healthy diets

Have higher blood pressure and do less to control it

Sleep less

Engage in more criminal activity

Have smaller social networks and less intimate and active social relationships

Research on these behaviors reveals that each of these differences is statistically significant and is associated with an increased risk of death, contributing to men’s shorter lives. But these factors are only part of the story.

Will Courtenay of Men’s Health Consulting has identified over 30 attitudes and behaviors that contribute to men’s shorter lives. Furthermore, his research suggests that men are socialized and taught as boys to adopt the very attitudes and behaviors that kill them. For example, research consistently shows that boys are discouraged from seeking help and even punished when they do. This fact helps explain why men make 150 million fewer doctor visits every year.

Learn more about these risk factors


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