Are men shortchanged on health? Perspective on life expectancy, morbidity, and mortality in men and women in the United States


  • Disclosure The following authors do not have potential conflicts of interest: Ruben M. Pinkhasov, Alex Shteynshlyuger, Payam Hakimian, Gaius K. Lindsay, and David B. Samadi.

  • Potential conflicts of interest for Ridwan Shabsigh– Company (date), Position: (i) Indevus Pharmaceuticals (09/04/2007), Consultant or Advisor; (ii) Pfizer (09/04/2007), Consultant or Advisor; (iii) Bayer Schering Pharma (09/04/2007), Consultant or Advisor; (iv) American Medical Systems (09/04/2007), Consultant or Advisor; (v) Auxilium (09/04/2007), Consultant or Advisor; (vi) Johnson & Johnson (09/04/2007), Consultant or Advisor; (vii) Lilly (07/23/2007), Meeting Participant or Lecturer; (viii) Lilly (07/23/2007), Consultant or Advisor; (ix) Boehringer Ingelheim (07/23/2007), Consultant or Advisor Compensation; (x) Auxilium (06/03/2008), Investigator; (xi) Plethora (07/1/2008), Investigator; (xii) Plethora (04/1/2008), Consultant or advisor.

Ridwan Shabsigh, MD,
Division of Urology, Maimonides Medical Center, 904 49th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11219, USA
Tel.: + 1 718 283 7746
Fax: + 1 718 635 7424


Background:  Significant gender disparities exist in life expectancy and major disease morbidity. There is an urgent need to understand the major issues related to men’s health that contributes to these significant disparities. It is hypothesized that men have higher and earlier morbidities, in addition to behavioral factors that contribute to their lower life expectancy.

Methods:  Data was collected from CDC: Health United States, 2007; American Heart Association, American Obesity Association, and American Cancer Society.

Results:  Men have lower life expectancy than women in most countries around the world including United States. This gender disparity is consistent regardless of geography, race and ethnicity. More men die of 12 out of the 15 leading causes of death than women. In addition, men have higher morbidity and mortality in coronary heart disease (CHD), hypertension, diabetes, and cancer.

Conclusions:  Men’s lower life expectancy may be explained by biological and clinical factors such as the higher incidence of cardiovascular metabolic disease and cancer. In the context of public health, raising awareness of cardiovascular and metabolic health is needed to reduce the gender disparity. In addition, consideration of preventive and early detection/intervention programs may improve men’s health.