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Men's health a world problem - experts

Friday May 17th, 2013

Global strategies are failing to tackle the problems posed by men's health and behaviour, it is claimed today.

Men suffer more disease and enjoy a shorter life expectancy than women, according to a report in The Lancet.

Researchers Dr Sarah Hawkes of the UCL Institute for Global Health, London, UK, and Dr Kent Buse of UNAIDS say that the top ten most risky behaviours identified in a 2010 study all affect men more than women.

This includes alcohol, smoking and sexual behaviour, they say.

This has led to death rates among men aged between 25 and 39 falling at a smaller rate than among any other groups.

Dr Hawkes said global strategies recognised the importance of women and their disadvantages - but failed to do the same for men.

She said: "Gender norms drive risk-taking. Drinking alcohol and smoking, in particular, are subject to social pressures which have resulted in men globally running three times the risk of ill-health from these behaviours compared to women. These norms and customs are clearly perpetuated by all of us, and exploited by commercial interests."

"The global health community has made real strides in acknowledging and addressing unsafe sex, we must now do the same for 'unsafe gender'."

Hawkes S., Buse K., Gender and global health: evidence, policy and inconvenient truths. The Lancet 2013; 381:1783-87 [abstract]

Tags: Drug & Alcohol Abuse | Menís Health | UK News | Womenís Health & Gynaecology | World Health

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