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Masculinity and men's health

Updated: June 01, 2008

Beliefs about the way men are supposed to behave may stand in the way of healthful behaviors and men getting the care they need.

Men lag behind women when it comes to health. They die younger — although the life expectancy gap has narrowed in the United States. Heart disease among women has been getting some overdue attention, but the fact remains that men start having heart attacks and strokes in large numbers about a decade earlier than women. Each year in the United States, almost four times as many males as females die by committing suicide. And over twice as many men as women die from alcohol-related deaths.

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