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Home » Men's healthcare » The gender gap: why men should be more interested in health

Dr Janine David, MRCGP, FECSM, GPWSI Men’s Health

Medical Director at Men’s Health Wales

This article is part of a disease awareness campaign fully funded and sponsored by Besins Healthcare UK Ltd.

All evidence suggests that men in the UK need to be more clued up about health and we need to help empower them to take ownership of it.

Studies show in the 20-40-year age group, women are twice as likely to visit their GPs. Women visit the pharmacist annually 18 times, compared to just four times for a man and men are also less likely to have dental, eye and hearing checks.

One in five men die before retirement  

The male ostrich-like approach to wellbeing has a devastating impact on life expectancy. Worldwide, men die around seven years earlier than women, one in five men in the UK die before the age of 65 and three out of four suicides are male.

We need to encourage men to visit their GP as soon as they have any health concerns.

The reasons for male lack of engagement, says Dr Janine David, are multifactorial. “Sexist as it sounds, women tend to be the ones bringing in children for health issues, and, of course, women need to attend for contraception and maternity care. Women are, therefore, more familiar with using health services.” There is also a perception, she adds, ill health is detrimental to the requisite macho image society expects.

To prevent the surge of premature male deaths, men need to be empowered to take ownership of their health. “We need to encourage men to visit their GP as soon as they have any health concerns, and as GPs we need to make the most of each consultation,” says Dr David.

If you are affected by any of the issues in this article or want more information, please talk to your doctor.

This content was originally published on 30th November 2021
BHUK/2022/227 | December 2022

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