Mortality of Men with high Stress

This article reports on research performed looking at stress levels in men and their mortality. It found that men who reported persistent moderate or high levels of stressful events over a number of years experienced 50% greater mortality. 

Those experiencing moderate and high levels of stressful events per year had similar mortality and the researchers were surprised that there was not a linear increase. 

Self reported good health, marriage and moderate alcohol consumption supposedly conferred a benefit. However, the latter point in particular would need further discernment in terms of understanding which teetotal groups were studied as often these are ex-alcoholics whose health has already been detrimentally affected by alcohol. It has been previously discussed on here and here the detrimental effect of alcohol and the fact that it is poisonous to the human body is gaining momentum and recognition. In the last link it states that alcohol is a well established cancer causing agent and that man is genetically unable to counteract the toxicity of alcohol. Interestingly it describes this as a genetic defect when in-truth it is a blessing! Thus I would predict that supposed benefit from alcohol consumption will turn out to be erroneous for how can a bone fide toxin/poison enhance mortality? 

Whilst this study shows that moderate/high levels of stressful events can impact mortality for men, this need not be the case. What is important is not the number of stressful life events per se per year but HOW we/men respond or react to those stressful life events. How much we allow these external events to affect our internal environment, how emotionally affected we are by them.  

For example, 2 men could experience the same stressful life event eg death of a spouse but they may respond in very different ways and with different degrees of impact on the health of the body ultimately.  The more we are able to ‘observe and not absorb’ (SB) these stressful life events then the less impact they will have on our physical health and wellbeing and thus mortality. Of course other factors interplay on this including one’s understandng of life, death, illness/disease, healing etc and the degree to which we are willing to take responsibility for the events of our life.

However, it would be a mistake for men to assume that just because they have a moderate or high number of stressful life events occurring in one year that they are going to die earlier or are powerless to do anything about it. There are tools that one can use to help one swim in the sea of life without getting wet or in other words experience stressful life events without such a detrimental impact on one’s body/life. 


  • Reply
    23rd October 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Here’s a link to the full published paper

    “Do Stress Trajectories Predict Mortality in Older Men? Longitudinal Findings from the VA Normative Aging Study”,

    Carolyn M. Aldwin,1 Nuoo-Ting Molitor,1,2 Avron Spiro III,3,4 Michael R. Levenson,1 John Molitor,1,2 and Heidi Igarashi1

    Journal of Aging Research
    Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 896109, 10 pages


    • Reply
      The Soulful Doctor
      24th October 2011 at 10:26 pm

      thanks David for providing the link to the paper.

    Leave a Reply