A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Cambridge Study Highlights Gender Disparities

Cambridge Study Highlights Gender Disparities

July 1, 2008

The Cambridge Public Health Department released a new report today, documenting the often-overlooked issue of gender-based health disparities. Both nationally and in Massachusetts, men have poorer health outcomes for heart disease, cancer, stroke, homicide and injury. Men of color fare not only worse than their white peers for these indicators, but worse than women of color as well.

The key findings include:

  • The overall death rate (all mortality rates are age-adjusted) for Cambridge males is 34% higher than for Cambridge females.
  • Cambridge males have higher death rates than females for heart disease and cancer, and higher infection rates for HIV/AIDS.
  • While both sexes experience a similar rate of death from stroke and diabetes, Cambridge males are hospitalized for these diseases at a higher rate than Cambridge females.
  • Within the city's male population, the death rate for black males is 9% higher than for white males, 78% higher than for Hispanic males, and 327% higher than for Asian males.

This new report provides specific data for men of Cambridge, as well as a review of initiatives and policies aimed at improving men’s health in the community. For example, a Cambridge program called The Men's League: A Community Health Partnership for Men engages participants in wellness activities and connects them to health care services.

The report is a much needed addition to the literature and analysis of this important health equity issue. The full report is available here.
Camille Watson