Young Men's Lifestyle Choices Contribute to Early Death Rates
> 7/28/2006 10:43:28 AM

After analyzing the rates and causes of death among young men in 44 countries, researchers in England concluded that risky, preventable behaviors help elevate their mortality rates to levels far above those of women in the same age group. The study, published in the Journal of Men's Health and Gender using data compiled by the World Health Organization, focused on six categories of death: Accidents, Suicides, Cancer, Diseases of the Circulatory System, Homicide, and Chronic Liver Disease & Cirrhosis. The study illuminated some telling societal discrepancies: 

In Thailand, 35 percent of male deaths were within that age group while in Sweden it was only 3.5 percent.Along with Thailand, Brazil, Kazakhstan and the Philippines had the highest male death rates among 15- to 44-year-olds while Japan, the Netherlands and Italy ranked among the lowest. In Brazil, homicide was the principal cause of death among young men while in Japan it was suicide. Suicide rates were higher among men in the richer northern European countries than in nations further south.

Some of the study's general findings are especially disturbing: in every country, the number of young male deaths are largely disproportionate to those of young women. Men are three times as likely as women to die at the ages of 15-24, and the two leading causes of death in this group are accidents and suicide. In the 34-44 age group, chronic diseases begin to take a greater toll. Theoretically, cancer should affect the genders equally, but men contract the disease at significantly higher rates, particularly in their thirties and early forties.

Citing stats like the more than four-fold increase in liver disease from the 25-34 age group to the 34-44 age group, researchers concluded that lifestyle choices like poor nutrition, high stress and the consumption of toxic substances like tobacco and alcohol contributed greatly to these numbers.

This important, worrying study simply illustrates the long-accepted truth that men worldwide pay less attention to their health than women do, and that they suffer for it in the long run. It cannot bring millions of men to alter their daily routines, but it will hopefully open the eyes of more than a few young men who don't yet realize the amounts of damage that their lifestyles continue to inflict upon their minds and bodies.

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