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article imageAmerican men more often killed by lightning than women

By Kathleen Blanchard     Jul 30, 2013 in Environment
New research shows American men are nearly six-times more likely to be killed by lightning than women. The report that comes from the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) might suggest an overdue look at the reasons mortality is higher for men.
In their report that includes fatalities only in the U.S., the CDC found overall deaths from lightning have taken a downward trend in 43 years, from 1968 through 2010.
The number of male deaths from lightning decreased 78.6 percent during the time period and mortality from lightning strikes among women declined 70.6 percent.
But among those killed, 85 percent were men and just 15 percent were women, the report found.
The analysis of results were taken from the National Vital Statistics System, Mortality public use data files that found an average of 79 deaths per year directly from lightning.
The report excluded mishaps related to lightning such as fires and fallen trees from strikes.
The highest number of deaths in a year from being struck by lightning was 139 that occurred in 1969.
From 1980 to 1995, deaths from lightning were more likely to occur in certain states.
CNS News says: “The greatest number of deaths attributable to lightning occurred in Florida and Texas (145 and 91, respectively), but New Mexico, Arizona, Arkansas, and Mississippi had the highest rates (10.0, 9.0, 9.0, and 9.0, respectively),” said the CDC.
According to the report, some of the reasons that people are less likely to die from being struck by lightning include improved medical care, better warning systems and increased awareness among the public about weather dangers.
It's also possible that fewer people live and work in rural areas.
Though our overall chance of being killed by lightning are relatively small, stories abound about some people who have had the unfortunate luck of being stricken several times.
Struckbylightning.org, started by Michael Utley after he ended up in the hospital for more than four months from a lightning strike on the golf course, reports there have been 14 people killed by lightning this year and 148 injured, including women, children and men.
The CDC says men are more likely to die from lightning, though the reasons were not included in the recent report.
More about Lightning, CDC report, men more likely to die
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