Men's Behavior Factors into Survival

Published Online: Thursday, July 1, 2004

Men die about 7 years earlier, compared with women. This statistic could change if men altered their habits. Research has implicated behavior, not biology, in men's shorter life spans. For example, men are more likely to die violently or accidentally, and they are less likely to receive medical care when they are sick. Men's behavior does not change overnight, however.

In an effort to narrow the survival gap between men and women, 2 new developments in the emerging men's health movement were seen in May 2004: the launch of a peer-reviewed scientific journal, The Journal of Men's Health and Gender, and the convening of the first US men's health conference, held in Arlington, Va. The journal's first issue as well as the conference covered a variety of topics, including whether gender influences communication between patients and physicians.

"It hurts men as much as it hurts women when we continue to assume that one size fits all," said Wanda Jones, PhD, after the conference. "It's time to bring us together to recognize and acknowledge and embrace the differences and be prepared to address them."

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