PSY 349 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Preventive Healthcare, Prescription Drug, Immune System

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Gender Differences in Health
White men-76.7
White women- 81.4
Black men- 72.5
Black women- 78.4
Hispanic men- 79.2
Hispanic women- 84.0
Gender gap has persisted for at least the last century
Gender gap is getting smaller
Leading causes of death
We’e ee ale to deease e’s deaths fo heat disease oe tha oe’s
deaths from heart disease; increased prevalence in lung cancer in women
People are living longer because they are living with diseases instead of dying from them
Women perceive themselves to be less healthy than men do
Women use more health services compared to men
o Peaks in child breaking years
Women use health services more for preventative visits
Genes: more men than women for disorders with a genetic basis because women are
more often carriers (extra X chromosome)
Hormones: estrogen is often protective of the cardiovascular system, but can contribute
to harm in cancer and osteoarthritis
Immune system: some evidence that women are more resistant than men to infections;
men may have lower rates of certain proteins that are involved in immune function;
women are more vulnerable to diseases that affect the immune system
Artifacts (lead to an appearance of gender differences)
Physician bias: often treat male and female patients differently
o Women are more likely to be given prescriptions for psychological medications
than men; these drugs could be over prescribed because health care providers
are more likely to attiute oe’s syptos to a psyhologial ause
o Men could be under-prescribed psychological medications
o Women could be more likely than men to specifically request medication for
anxiety and depression
o Sustae ause poles do’t get diagnosed in women as much; could be due
to the criteria used for diagnosis
Health behaviors
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