Does the Male-Female Health-Survival Paradox Exist in Rural Ghana? An Examination of Gender Disparities in Health and Mortality in the Kassena-Nankana District of Ghana

Cornelius Y. Debpuur, Navrongo Health Research Centre
Fabian Achana, Navrongo Health Research Centre
Raymond Aborigo, Navrongo Health Research Centre

Worldwide, female life expectancy is higher than males. However, data indicate that men generally rate their health better than women. Does this discrepancy exist in rural Ghana? Do community members perceive such a discrepancy, and how do they explain this phenomenon? Such information would be useful in guiding public health policies and programs aimed at promoting the health of women. We examine gender disparities in health and mortality in the context of a rural Ghanaian community. Demographic surveillance data are used to examine trends in mortality and life expectancy (1995-2010) for males and females. Data from a recent survey of 5300 adults are used to compare the self-reported health and functional disabilities of men and women in the district. Qualitative data are used to explore community perspectives on the health of men and women, and what accounts for the differences in the health and survival of men and women.

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Presented in Poster Session 8: Adult Health and Mortality