Coverage of causes of death among women in 1991 magazines

Date
1993-12-30
Authors
Lepley, Cyndi J.
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Abstract

Seven 1991 magazines were reviewed for their content on causes of mortality in women of four age groups: 15-24, 25-44, 45-64, and 65 & older. Two hundred and fifty-one articles were coded and analyzed using frequency distributions and a Spearman rank order correlation to determine the relationship between the frequency of coverage and the rankings of mortality causes from the 1990 National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Analysis of the data showed no relationship in coverage of mortality causes in the magazines read by the 25-44 age category and NCHS data, and a significant relationship in coverage of mortality causes in magazines read by the 15-24, 45-64 and 65 & older ages and NCHS data. The articles did not always include information on prevention, nor did they always identify behaviors causing mortality. Physicians, their professional journals and organizations were used most frequently as the expert reference sources. Cancer and cardiac disease were written about most frequently, followed by accidents, diabetes and homicide. There was a lack of information on pneumonia, congenital anomalies, pregnancy, congestive obstructive pulmonary disease, and atherosclerosis. Minority issues were not specifically identified when mortality issues were discussed.

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Keywords
Media coverage of mortality, Women's health, Therapeutic journalism
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