Duval County Men's Health Report

September 23, 2009 8 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

This report provides an overview of Men's Health, the major indicators of poor health outcomes in men and highlights major health issues for men in Duval County for which data is available.

Men and women share many health concerns; however, men tend to have unique factors that contribute to poor health outcomes. Estimates for Life Expectancy in 2008 rank the U.S. poorly in comparison to other industrialized countries. Specifically, men are ranked 28th and women are ranked 24th in the world for life expectancy. Complicating this issue further, there are major disparities in life expectancy between black and white men with white men living more than 5 years longer than black men.

Prostate cancer/disease, a major health issue, is unique to men's health; however, a wide range of conditions including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and some cancers affect men differently than women. Men may respond to treatments and prevention strategies differently than women. Men may experience different symptoms than women for the same health issues; men tend to lead less healthy lifestyles than women and not seek medical help when necessary, men engage in more risky behaviors and men largely define themselves by their work, potentially leading to additional stress in all aspects of their lives.

Local Disparities in Men's Health

Racial, gender and geographic disparities in Duval County are numerous across many health and economic variables. Differences in health outcomes for men among race and location of residence are also notable. The death rate in Duval County is 846.4 per 100,000 for white males and 690.7 for black males. Years of Potential Life Lost (YPLL) provide additional insight to disparities. YPLL is an estimate of premature mortality that has been defined as thenumber of years of life lost among persons who die before a predetermined age, which is 75 in the state of Florida.

The data report card provides a comparison between local, state, and national data for Healthy People 2010 objectives related to men's health. Healthy People 2010 targets are used as benchmarks for comparison with Duval County rates. The majority of data for this report include local, state, Report Card Overview and national vital statistics and data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Several objectives in the report card are leading causes of death in males.

The highest death rate in Duval County was due to cancer at 229.8 per 100,000 males. The rate is 44.9% greater than the Healthy People 2010 target, but only 1% greater than the rate in the U.S.

Coronary heart disease followed the cancer deaths rate with a rate of 171.5 per 100,000 males. The local rate for male deaths from coronary heart disease is nearly the same as the state’s rate, yet it is over 50% higher than the female
rate in Duval County.

In 2006, Duval County had a homicide rate double that of Florida and 131.5% higher than the national rate. Similarly, the suicide rate in Duval is higher than that of the U.S., Florida, and target rate. The disparity in suicide is seen when comparing the local, state, and national rates. The local rate is 86.2% greater than the national rate. A gender disparity exists between the male and female death rates for both homicide and suicide. The local male death rates for both objectives are over 3 times greater than the female rates (see Figure 1).

Not all male death rates in Duval County differ significantly from state and national data. The death rate for stroke is lower than both the national rate and Healthy People 2010 target. Similarly, male deaths rates from cirrhosis are similar in the U.S., Florida, and Duval County. Yet, locally, the male death rate is 84.9% greater than the female rate (See Figure 1).

The report card includes prevention indicators from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). The BRFSS gathers data on health risk behaviors which are influential on morbidity and mortality. In 2007, 23.4% of Duval County male residents smoked which was higher than the percentage of male smokers nationally and statewide. Over 43.5% of males in Duval County were overweight, nearly 22.8% were obese, and 19.3% had no leisure time physical activity in their lives. These factors affect high blood pressure and diabetes which are both prevalent in Duval County. Male residents also engage in heavy or binge drinking which is associated with various health problems like cirrhosis, cancer, high blood pressure, unintentional injuries, and violence.

Emergency Room Visits

In 2005, 34,045 males visited an emergency room because of an injury. The rate, 94.9 per 1,000 population, is 16.7% greater than the female rate for the same diagnosis. The second most common reason males visited the emergency room was for symptoms, signs, and ill-defined conditions such as headache, fever, and chest pain with a rate of 49.7 per 1,000.

Thirty-nine percent of males who were seen in the emergency room were either underinsured, paid outright for their medical bills, or had costs covered by charity (see Figure 4). The total cost for all male ER visits in 2005 was $190,131,150 which averages to a cost of $1,875 per visit.

Download the full report from the Duval County Health Department