Gender disparities in injury mortality: consistent, persistent, and larger than you'd think

Am J Public Health. 2011 Dec;101 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S353-8. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2010.300029. Epub 2011 Jul 21.


Objectives: The purpose of this study is to update knowledge about gender differences in injury mortality.

Methods: Data were drawn from the Web-based Injury Query System, which contains US injury mortality data from 1981 to 2007. Male-to-female rate ratios in injury mortality are calculated for key variables, and age and ethnic group comparisons are made.

Results: Boys and men were more likely than girls and women to die of injury. From 1981 to 2007, the male-to-female age-adjusted rate ratio decreased by 20% to 2.15 for unintentional injury and increased by 11% to 3.91 for violence-related injury. Excess male mortality existed in manner of death, cause of death, and within ethnic and age groups. Additionally, with rare exception, the gender disparity was greater than ethnic and age disparities in unintentional and violence-related injury mortality.

Conclusions: Gender disparities in injury mortality are consistent and persistent. Gender patterns in injury mortality do not follow typical social justice analyses of health, in that men are at greater risk. Lifestyle and behavioral risks as well as masculine socialization merit consideration.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Ethnicity
  • Female
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sex Distribution*
  • Violence
  • Wounds and Injuries / ethnology
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality*
  • Young Adult