Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Public Health

Why Women Bury Men: The Longevity Gap in Canada

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Public Health

Why Women Bury Men: The Longevity Gap in Canada

Article excerpt

Why Women Bury Men: The Longevity Gap in Canada Barbara Murphy. Winnipeg, MB: J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing, 2002; 143 pp, $17.95

This short book describes the risk factors for major leading causes of death in Canada with an emphasis on smoking, drinking, diet, exercise, and reckless driving. Specifically, the book describes how these diseases and risk factors contribute to the six-year longevity gap between men and women and why women will spend the last years of their lives alone.

Chapter 2 provides an explanation for why women might have a biological advantage, which contributes slightly to the longevity gap. Subsequently, chapters 3-5 look at the larger contribution to the longevity gap, namely lifestyle factors more common to men, which lead to heart disease, cancer, and lung and liver disease. These chapters are slightly repetitive as the same risk factors are discussed in each chapter.

Chapter 6 considers the reasons men choose lifestyle behaviours that put them at risk for disease. It is already well known that smoking and alcohol are major risk factors that more men than women engage in. Unfortunately, the book does not delve deeply into the reasons behind men's risky behaviour. However, the author does mention that there is a reluctance to dig deeper into this issue. …

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