March 16, 2003
The Weaker SexBy MAGGIE JONES
New York Times
Men start out ahead: 115 males are conceived for every 100 females. But it's downhill from there.
The male fetus is at greater risk of miscarriage and stillbirth.
Male births slightly outnumber female births (about 105 to 100), but boys have a higher death rate if born premature: 22 percent compared with 15 percent for girls.
Overall, more newborn males die than females (5 to 4).
Sudden infant death syndrome is one and a half times as common in boys as in girls.
Boys are three to four times as likely to be autistic.
Boys are three times as likely to have Tourette's syndrome.
Mental retardation afflicts one and a half times as many boys as girls.
Dyslexia is diagnosed two to three times as often in boys as girls.
As teenagers, boys die at twice the rate of girls.
Boys ages 15-19 are five times as likely to die in a homicide.
Boys ages 15-19 are almost 11 times as likely to die by drowning.
Boys ages 16-19 are nearly twice as likely to die from a car accident.
Men are 16 times as likely as women to be colorblind.
Men suffer hearing loss at twice the rate of women.
Though women attempt suicide two to three times as often as men, four times as many men actually kill themselves.
The male hormone testosterone is linked to elevations of LDL, the bad cholesterol, as well as declines in HDL, the good cholesterol.
Men have fewer infection-fighting T-cells and are thought to have weaker immune systems than women.
Men have a higher death rate from pneumonia and influenza than women.
By the age of 36, women outnumber men.
Men ages 55-64 are twice as likely as women to die in car accidents.
Men ages 55-74 are twice as likely as women to die of heart disease.
In the United States, men are twice as likely to die from parasite-related diseases (in part, some speculate, because their greater average size may offer parasites a bigger target).
Among people 65 and older, men account for 84 percent of suicides.
Stroke, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and accidents -- all among the top causes of death -- kill men at a higher rate than women.
American men typically die almost six years before women do.
By the age of 100, women outnumber men eight to one.
The good news? Men who live to be 100 tend to be in better shape than their centenarian female counterparts.
Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company.