Risks differ between sexes
Men and women report quite different
health risks and behaviors, according to a report from the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The study found that men are more likely to say that they are
overweight, to smoke, to binge drink, and to drink and drive.
Women are less likely to exercise regularly, but they are also
more likely to wear a seatbelt and to have their blood cholesterol
The findings, come from data collected in 1996 and 1997 as part
of the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, a telephone
survey of adults.
Some key study findings are as follows:
-- More men than women considered themselves overweight--about
60% of men said they were overweight compared with 44% of women.
-- Nearly one third of women and one quarter of men said they
engaged in no leisure-time physical activities.
-- Men are seven times more likely than women to report chronic
drinking, and three times more likely to binge drink. Men are
also three times more likely to report drinking and driving.
-- The use of tobacco is recognized as a major threat to health
but about one quarter of US adults still smoke.
And the majority of people--about 75% of women and 62% of men--say
they always wear a seat belt.
When it comes to access to healthcare, men were slightly more
likely to report having no health insurance (15% of men versus
13.5% of women). But women were more likely to say that cost
was a barrier to healthcare (13.4% versus 9%).
of the risk behaviors associated with chronic diseases and injury
can be changed through more effective state and local health
policies and programs, more encouragement from health practitioners...more
counseling on preventive measures...and more convenient ways
to access preventive services," CDC officials write. "States
can use these new data to develop and evaluate programs to reduce
the health risks of all adults."
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