A Roadmap to Men's Health

It is striking that men live on average 4 to 6 years less than women, a life expectancy gap which been taken for granted rather than explained. Analysis of life expectancy data for British Columbia. shows that the Big Three sources of reduced lifespan for men compared to women are:

1. Cardiovascular Disease, which strikes men in larger numbers and earlier than it does women; 

2. Suicide, which has a much higher rate for men at all ages;

3. Motor Vehicle Accidents, which involve a much higher rate of fatal accidents for men and a high rate of occurrence at a relatively young age.

These sources of men's excess mortality should be seen as opportunities to improve men's health status and longevity. In this report, a framework is developed which includes three kinds of factors: biological (e.g., differences in hormone levels between men and women); environmental (e.g., men being preferentially hired into physically dangerous jobs); and behavioural (e.g., men taking risks and avoiding health‐protective behaviours) . Of these, behavioural factors seem most important.

By examining specific health conditions from a Men's Health perspective, it is recommended that:

Health research should evaluate population level initiatives to modify cardiovascular risk factors in men as well as study population level interventions to reduce the incidence of suicide in men;

Health policy should prioritize population level initiatives which adopt a male gender-appropriate approach;

Healthcare practice should train primary care providers to focus on Men's Health issues such as risky drinking, suicidal ideation and poor nutritional habits.

Partners:

Men’s Health Initiative of British Columbia

Funding:

Men’s Health Initiative of British Columbia

Contact Info:

Dan Bilsker (dan_bilsker@sfu.ca)

Resources:

2010