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April 29, 2003 --
have poorer health and die sooner than women, especially if they're
minorities. It is a health crisis highlighted by a leading medical journal,
which has devoted most of its May issue to men's health.
"Men in all socioeconomic levels
are doing poorly in terms of health," writes David R. Williams, PhD, MPH,
with the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, Ann
Arbor. However, men of color -- especially low-income men -- are "especially
vulnerable," he says.
"Sadly, the health status of
African American men may serve as the proverbial canary in the coal mine for
other poor men in this nation and in our global village," writes Henrie M.
Treadwell, PhD, a researcher with the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.
Among other statistics cited in
the American Journal of Public Health:
Men have higher death rates than women for
15 leading causes of death except Alzheimer's disease.
Men's death rates are at least
twice as high for accidents, murder,
suicide, and liver disorders.
Men's life expectancy remains almost five
years shorter than for women -- and black men die almost 12 years sooner
than white women.
Men are slightly more likely to get high
blood pressure or cancer, and twice as likely to consume more than five
Men are more likely than women to be
imprisoned, homeless, or to use illegal drugs.
Minority men are more likely to live in
poverty. While 17% of white men are uninsured, 28% of black men and almost
half of Hispanic men have no insurance.
Also, women are twice as likely
as men to visit a doctor each year. When men do see a doctor, the visits are
shorter and are less likely to include advice on
lifestyle changes that
promote better health.
Work environment also takes its
toll, Williams points out. Men tend to work in more dangerous jobs than
women, and men represent 90% of job fatalities. Stressors and negative
emotional states created by
poor working conditions can lead to poor
sleeping patterns, decreased physical activity, substance abuse, and
overeating -- all of which negatively impact men's health.
SOURCE: May 2003 American
Journal of Public Health.
: This summary doesn't
speculate on whether American men's poorer health, greater self-neglect, and earlier deaths are caused by genetic, social,
and/or psychological factors. It also omits the research suggesting that
typical married men seem to be happier and healthier than single men.
combine the findings above with
these, one inference is that
average U.S. males may be more psychologically
than females - specially in low-income and minority families. If
true, this has significant implications for adults raising boys; and educators;
medical, mental health, legal professionals; and family-policy
The findings above add incentive for adults to
learn about (a) the inherited [wounds + unawareness]
about (b) how to
this lethal cycle and protect future generations from it
- Peter Gerlach, MSW
this summary of common
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