City women live 6 years longer than men: DOH

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New York City men die an average of six years earlier than women, many of them because of what health officials call preventable causes including poor diet, smoking, lack of health care and homicide.

A city Department of Health report said life spans are lengthening for both sexes but that men live to an average of 76 years as compared with 82 for women.

“A number of complex factors contribute to a shorter life expectancy and higher premature death rate for men, including health behavior, the social and physical environment and health-care access and quality,” the report said.

In the 35 to 64 age group, 1 million men, or 46 percent, were overweight and 25 percent were obese, the report said.

“Heart disease is the leading cause of death after age 75 among both men and women,” the report said. “Before that age, however, causes differ greatly by sex.”

“Homicide is by far the most common cause of death for men between 18 and 34, accounting for twice as many deaths as accidents,” the report said.

The Health Department said that while death rates for cancer are comparable among men and women 35 to 64, deaths from heart diseases are twice as common among men.

“The Health Department is working to improve men’s health and well-being,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, the health commissioner. “Healthier behaviors such as quitting smoking, exercising and eating well can prevent heart disease and cancer and efforts to prevent violence can help save lives.”

The report said homicide has declined over the past two decades “yet it remains the leading cause of death in New York City men 18 to 34, claiming lives of about 260 younger men each year.”

According to the report, Rockaway has the percentage of homicides in the borough for men ages 18 to 34.

“In most of these cases, young men were the perpetrators as well as the victims,” the report said.

For men aged 18 to 34, the study found that the highest homicide rates were in the Bronx neighborhoods of Hunts Point and Mott Haven and in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights and East New York in Brooklyn.

Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at timesledgernews@cnglocal.com or phone at 718-260-4536.

Updated 6:07 pm, October 10, 2011
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