Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Too Young to Die? Study Examines Risks of Being Male

26.05.2004


In the years at the dangerous border between adolescence and adulthood, about three men die for every woman, according to a new University of Michigan study of the ratio of male to female mortality rates in 20 nations, including the United States.



The study, selected as a "hot topic talk" to be presented May 28 at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Society, also appears in the current issue of the journal Evolutionary Psychology.

"Being male is now the single largest demographic risk factor for early mortality in developed countries," said Daniel Kruger, lead author of the study and a social psychologist at the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR), the world’s largest academic survey and research organization. ISR researcher Randolph Nesse, professor of psychiatry at the U-M Medical School, is the co-author of the study.


Funding for the analysis was provided by the National Institute of Mental Health.

Kruger and Nesse used data from the National Center for Health Statistics, the World Health Organization and the Human Mortality Database to examine the difference between male and female mortality rates for 11 leading causes of death across age groups in the United States. They also studied the same mortality rates over the course of the lifespan in 20 countries, and over the past 70 years in five countries: the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, France and Japan.

In the United States, they found that in the year 2000 males had higher mortality rates than females for all 11 causes of death across the lifespan. "The magnitude of the sex difference is most starkly summarized by the numbers of deaths before age 50," Kruger said. "For every 10 premature female deaths, 16 men died prematurely."

The overall ratio of U.S. male to female mortality rates increased sharply at adolescence, peaking at 2.94 from ages 20 to 24 and slowly decreasing to 1.46 from ages 75 to 79.

The highest male-female mortality ratio for a specific cause was 9.03 for suicide from ages 75 to 79, meaning that nine men that age killed themselves for every woman who did. The next highest male-female mortality ratios were for homicide (5.72) and non-automobile accidents (4.91) from ages 20 to 24.

The researchers also compared cross-national data from 20 countries, finding higher male than female mortality for nearly all ages with a substantial peak at sexual maturity.

"This is the stage of life when males of many species engage in high levels of risk-taking and competitive displays that tend to increase their reproductive success," Kruger said. "The higher degree of mating competition among males is the evolutionary reason why females live longer on average in most animal species."

Finally, Kruger and Nesse analyzed historical patterns of age-related male-female mortality starting in 1930 in the United Kingdom, the United States and Sweden, and beginning after World War II in France and Japan. In all five cultures, they found two pronounced peaks in male to female mortality ratios, both increasing markedly in the mid-20th century. The first peak is sharp and centers at the age of sexual maturity, while the second, more rounded peak reaches a maximum around age 65.

"The results confirm our expectations that evolved sex differences interact with aspects of current environments and cultures to result in considerably higher mortality rates for men than for women, especially in early adulthood and especially for external causes of death," Kruger said.

"If male mortality rates could be reduced to those for females, one-third of all male deaths under age 50 would be eliminated. Since these deaths result from complex interactions of sex, behavior and culture, simple solutions are unlikely. Still, the general tendency for males to take greater risks ties together many preventable causes of death and is a worthy focus for interventions."

Kara Gavin | University of Michigan
Further information:
http://www.umich.edu/news/index.html?Releases/2004/May04/r052504

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>