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Men’s health in Europe is unnecessarily poor

  • In Eastern Europe, male life expectancy at birth averages 63.7 years compared to 74.9 for females, a difference of over 11 years.
  • In Western Europe, the life expectancy figures are 77.9 for males and 83.2 for females, a difference of over 5 years.
  • There is a 17-year difference in male life expectancy between the best-performing country (Iceland, 80.0 years) and the worst (Russia, 63.1 years).
  • 630,000 men of working age (15-64) die each year across Europe, of which almost a third (about 198,000) die before the age of 50 years. By comparison, there are 300,000 deaths in women of working age and about 86,500 deaths before the age of 50.

Men’s health problems are caused mainly by a combination of risk-taking behaviours (e.g. smoking, high levels of alcohol consumption, poor diets, dangerous driving) and health services that do not meet their needs.

The European Men’s Health Forum (EMHF) aims to improve the health of men and boys by:

  • Raising the profile of men’s health at a Europe-wide level and within individual states.
  • Encouraging Europe-wide, national, regional and local organisations (both governmental and non-governmental) to include men’s issues in their health policies and practices.
  • Improving the delivery of health services to men, including primary care and health promotion information.
  • Increasing the awareness of health professionals of men’s health issues and their ability to work effectively with male patients and men generally.
  • Enhancing men’s awareness of their own health and their treatment options.
  • Fostering improvements in men’s health-related behaviour, not least in terms of increasing their willingness to access health care and reducing the risks they take with their health.
  • Providing opportunities for organisations and individuals across Europe with an interest in men’s health to network and collaborate.
  • Accelerating research into the health needs of men across Europe.
  • Advocating a ‘gender-sensitive’ approach to health research, policy and practice that takes full account of the needs of both men and women.

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