07/30/2013 05:57 pm ET

Lightning Strikes Kill More Men Than Women, Report Shows


Way more men die each year from lightning strikes than women, but fortunately the total number of lightning-related deaths in the U.S. has gone down throughout the years, according to new government data.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put out a report this month examining death rates from lightning. It found that deaths from lightning (not including lightning-related deaths, like fires sparked from lightning, or felled trees caused by a lightning strike) decreased for men by 78.6 percent, and for women by 70.6 percent over the past 40 years.

Specifically, between 1968 and 2010, 3,389 people died from lightning strikes. The most people died from lightning strikes in 1969 -- 131 people; the fewest people died from lightning strikes in 2008 and 2010, with just 29 people each year.

However, researchers did find that significantly more men than women were likely to have died from lightning between 1968 and 2010 -- 85 percent of the deaths were men.

The report is based on mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System, collected from 1968 to 2010.

National Geographic reported that the chance of ever being struck by lightning is one in 3,000, while the chance of being struck by lightning in a year-long period is one in 700,000. It is possible to survive a lightning strike, as LiveScience pointed out that there are about 240,000 people each year who are struck and survive. (Click here for LiveScience's post on how to survive a lightning strike.)