In recent years, we have witnessed a growing crisis in men's health, marked by a significant gap in life expectancy between men and women. This crisis is fuelled by multiple factors, leading to shocking statistics such as suicide being the leading killer of men under the age of 45.
Let’s take a look in more detail.
Mental Health and Suicide: One of the most poignant aspects of the men's health crisis lies in the distressing prevalence of suicide, particularly among men under the age of 45. The stark numbers reveal that men die by suicide nearly four times more often than women, as indicated by 2020 study from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. This heart-wrenching trend is significantly influenced by the reluctance of men to seek help and the pervasive stigma attached to mental health concerns.
For instance, in the UK in 2021, the male suicide rate stood at 15.8 per 100,000, while the corresponding female suicide rate was markedly lower at 5.5 per 100,000. These statistics underscore the urgent need to create an environment that not only acknowledges the emotional well-being of men but also actively encourages them to reach out for assistance.
Shorter Life Expectancy: The repercussions of men's health disparities are evident in the significant gap in life expectancy between men and women. In 2021, the life expectancy in the USA for women was 79.1 years, while for men, it was only 73.2 years, according to statistics. This 5.9-year difference is the largest it has been in a quarter-century. It is crucial to examine and address the factors contributing to this gap
Accidents and Injuries: Men face a higher risk of motor vehicle crashes, according to the Department for Transport accounting for 72 percent of all crash deaths in 2020. They also represented the majority of pedestrian, bicyclist, and motorcyclist fatalities. These accidents play a substantial role in the overall disparity in life expectancy.
COVID-19 Disparities: The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed yet another health disparity, with men at a greater risk of dying from the virus compared to women. This gap cannot be solely attributed to infection rates or pre-existing conditions. According to government statistics men had 31 deaths per 100,000 compared with 17 deaths, respectively for women .
What can we do to address the disparities?
Mental Health Awareness
Reducing the stigma around mental health is a pressing issue. By encouraging open conversations, offering accessible mental health resources, and promoting support networks, we can provide the necessary tools for men to seek help when needed. There are many places to find help, for more details the Movember site has a great range of suggestions. https://uk.movember.com/mens-health/get-support
- Men are 50% more likely than women to die of heart disease. The fact that men have lower oestrogen levels than women may be part of the reason. But medical risks, such as poorly treated high blood pressure or unfavourable cholesterol levels, may contribute as well.
- Less socially connected. For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, people with fewer and weaker social connections (which tends to include men more often than women) tend to have higher death rates.
- Men tend to have a less healthy diet
Ensuring regular exercise, a healthy diet and becoming connected to the local community can help all of the above. A great way to do this is by adding a superfood juice to your diet, rich in nutrients and antioxidants, a great boost to your health.
Regular Health Check-ups: Encouraging men to undergo regular health check-ups is vital for early detection of health issues and preventive care. Healthcare providers should also prioritise discussing mental health during these visits. On average, men visit their GP 4 times a year in comparison to the 6 six times a year that women go .
Promote Safe Behaviours: Implementing educational programs and campaigns that highlight safe practices on the road can help reduce accidents and fatalities. These programs should target risky behaviours and raise awareness about the importance of wearing protective gear, such as helmets when riding motorcycles.
Supportive Communities: Establishing support networks and local men's health groups can create a sense of community where men can share experiences, seek advice, and support each other in their health journeys.
Empower Partners and Families: Partners and family members play a significant role in men's health. Encouraging open discussions within relationships and families can help in creating a supportive environment that values health and well-being.