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College Men

Men in the United States live more than five years less than women. For more than the top 10 leading causes of death, men have higher death rates. While this is true at every age, the gap is greatest at college-age. (The term college-age represents all men aged 15 to 24 years. Nearly half of all men ages 15 to 24 are students. The term college men is used here when data specifically regarding college men is included.) Three out of every 4 college-age deaths are men. Every day, 75 college-age men die.

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Eight out of 10 of these deaths are violent — and preventable — the result of accidents, homicides, and suicides. Here are the facts, along with the 6 leading causes of death.


Almost half of all men's deaths in this age group are due to accidents, most in motor vehicles. Men account for 3 out of 4 college-age accidental deaths. Nearly 3 times more men than women die in motor-vehicle accidents. Drowning, the second leading cause of accidental death, is responsible for 12 times more men than women deaths.


Five times more college-age men than women die by homicide. Every day, 14 young men are victims. For African American men in this age group, homicide is the number one killer. Most victims are killed by someone they know.


Men account for 6 out of every 7 college-age suicides. Every day, 11 young men take their own lives. For other age groups suicide rates have remained unchanged since 1946, but for those aged 15 to 24 years the rate has increased 250%. For college-age Caucasian American men, suicide is the second leading cause of death.


Twice as many college-age men as women die from cancer. Leukemia, the leading cause of cancer death, kills over 1.5 times more college-age men than women. Testicular cancer is the most common of solid tumors in college-age men and they are among those at highest risk for this cancer.


Nearly twice as many college-age men as women die from cardiovascular disease.


Men account for 9 out of 10 college-age deaths due to HIV infection. Nearly half of all those with HIV infection are under age 30.


Chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease, infects an estimated 1 in 10 college men.


Depression is equally common among college men and women.

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