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Sex differentials in morbidity and mortality in the usa


, : Sex differentials in morbidity and mortality in the usa. Social Biology 23(4): 275-296

Life expectation of females in the USA exceeds that of males, but females' health while living appears worse. Based on self-reports of illness, females have higher incidence rates for acute conditions, and a higher percentage of them have chronic condition. Sex differentials in mortality and morbidity were examined for 1958-72, using national vital statistic and Health Interview Survey data. The reversal of mortality and morbidity sex differentials in the aggregate is due in part to a distribution effect, diseases with a male excess being weighted heavily in mortality, but those with a female excess dominating morbidity. For specific conditions, sex morbidity and sex mortality differentials are usually in the same direction, the sicker sex being more likely to die. For several conditions, females have higher morbidity but lower mortality than males. By incorporating diagnostic data, these reversals are attributed to females' interviewing and illness behavior, rather than to higher physical morbidity.

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