Now Reading
Why Is the Death Rate for Men in the U.S. So High?

Why Is the Death Rate for Men in the U.S. So High?

Experts are growing concerned about American men, for a number of reasons. One big one these days? The mortality rate.

On average, American men tend to die about five years before American women do and eight years before men in other wealthy nations like Japan, Australia, Iceland and Norway. That holds true despite the fact that Americans pay far more for healthcare than any other nation.

And it’s only getting worse. In the first half of 2020, the average life expectancy for American men was 75.1 years. That’s 1.2 years lower than 2019, and that was before Covid-19. What’s going on?

The answer is: no one thing.

The major culprit is heart disease, which kills one in three American men. American men’s bad hearts are victims of things like poor diet, stress, a lack of exercise, smoking, obesity and too much alcohol. Diabetes and kidney problems can also contribute to heart problems.

Cancer is the number two killer of American men, including colorectal cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer, the latter of which is disproportionately aggressive among Black men. Diet, smoking and lack of exercise can all be factors in your body’s ability to fight such cancer.

Accidents are also a factor, particularly among young men. Unintentional injury is the leading cause of death for American men under 44, a category that includes poisoning (like opioids and alcohol) and America’s uniquely high rate of fatal car crashes.

Men are also almost four times as likely as women to die by suicide, for reasons researchers are still struggling to understand. Some experts believe the old masculine stereotype about keeping your feelings to yourself may contribute to the high suicide rate, since men are less likely to seek help from a counselor and more likely to turn to drugs and alcohol to deal with undiagnosed mental health issues.

So there is no one reason for this problem, but it is a problem. For many men, the answer starts with more exercise, a healthier diet and less drinking and smoking. But churches can be part of the solution too, by encouraging men in their congregations to open up and helping them destroy unhealthy masculine stereotypes.

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

© 2023 RELEVANT Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Scroll To Top

You’re reading our ad-supported experience

For our premium ad-free experience, including exclusive podcasts, issues and more, subscribe to

Plans start as low as $2.50/mo