Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Women Lag Behind Drowning Rates

The figure above shows average annual death rates from drowning, by sex and age group, in the United States during 1999–2010. During 1999–2010, a total of 49,762 deaths from drowning occurred in the United States, an average of 4,147 deaths per year. The average annual death rate from drowning for males (2.2 per 100,000 population) was more than three times that for females (0.7). The death rate for males was highest among those aged 1–4 years and ≥85 years (both 3.9 per 100,000 population). For females, the highest rates were among those aged 1–4 years (2.2) and <1 year (1.8).
When out on the various lakes, rivers and sea water of Washington State, you may want to consider drowning rates. Men drown a lot more than women in the United States.  What I found impressive with the graph is the nearly 2:1 margin for even toddlers.  Howland and others (1996) provide some further explanation regarding the rates for men. The take away is a mix of cockiness, drinking while fishing or hunting on the water and more frequent exposure to circumstances that are riskier. I confess that I have been guilty of all of the above (excepting drinking while hunting, no warm nips allowed with guns).


Anonymous said...

Having more fat might help one keep afloat too. Just a guess.

Scott Schuldt said...

The statistics show that almost no one drowns while wearing a PFD. They might not survive, but drowning (except in whitewater conditions) is rarely the cause. I've taken a lot of people canoeing and I was a whitewater raft guide for a few years. In those situations, women listen and follow instructions better than men. The drowning rates, by the way, are heavily stacked against people in rental canoes and kayaks.