Skip to content

Men's Health

Why Men's Lives Are Shorter Than Women's

A new book called "Why Men Die First" explains how men can close the longevity gap.
Font Size
A
A
A
By Don Fernandez
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Listen up, guys. It may be time to drop the bravado and consider these sobering statistics:

  • Coronary artery disease (CAD) is three times higher among men who are clinically depressed.
  • Male suicides outnumber female suicides in every age group.
  • Homicide and suicide are among the top three causes for death among males between the ages of 15 and 34.
  • By the age of 85, women outnumber men in the U.S. 2.2 to 1; this rises to 3 to 1 if they reach their 90s.

These are just a few of the realities examined in Why Men Die First: How to Lengthen Your Lifespan, a new book by Marianne J. Legato, MD, that focuses on the biological, cultural, and personal reasons that men's life span in the U.S. lasts an average of six years less than women's.

Recommended Related to Men

Surviving Infidelity Is Hard to Do

How can you tell if a guy's wife has cheated on him? Well, it depends on the guy, of course, but I do recall my wife and I having dinner with a couple she knew better than I, and thinking that the husband was being awfully rude to the mother of his children. "What was that about?" I asked my wife later. "I think he's mad at his wife for cheating on him," she said. "Wow. You mean he just found out?" "No, this all happened five years ago." For most guys in most matters, five years would be...

Read the Surviving Infidelity Is Hard to Do article > >

Male mortality is shorter in part, Legato says, because males are more fragile and inherently vulnerable than females from birth. And unlike women, who have fought hard to have their specific health needs validated and addressed, men haven't demanded equal treatment.

"It is a need that has never been addressed," Legato says. "Men have been tremendously neglected and it doesn't have to be that way."

Men's medical challenges owe a great deal to cultural conditioning. The rules are set shortly after birth, Legato says: Suck up the pain, don't be a wimp, show no weakness, and "man up." Many men only seek medical counsel when under duress from a spouse or when their condition has deteriorated to a severe state.

"Women are able to logically ask for help," says Legato, who has long promoted the concept of gender-specific medicine. "They're hardwired in the brain and very motivated."

"The cultural reasons for not going to the doctor are killing men," she says.

How Men Can Live Longer

In her book, Legato examines and champions an end to the lack of awareness among men -- and even the medical community -- regarding the specific health needs of a male that could help prevent male deaths. Men, she says, deserve better and should insist on higher standards.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Today on WebMD

man coughing
Men shouldn’t ignore.
man swinging in hammock
And how to get out it.
 
shaving tools
On your shaving skills.
muscular man flexing
Four facts that matter.
 
Food Men 10 Foods Boost Male Health
Slideshow
Thoughtful man sitting on bed
Quiz
 
Man taking blood pressure
Slideshow
doctor holding syringe
Slideshow
 

Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Condom Quiz
Quiz
thumbnail_angry_couple_in_bed
Slideshow
 
man running
Quiz
older couple in bed
Video