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  YourHealth > Men  << Previous|Next >>

Health 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 checked.

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%).

"Most 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."

- More articles on Risk Behaviors

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