There is clear evidence that men’s health is unnecessarily poor across Europe.
- In Central Europe, average life expectancy at birth in 2010 was 71.9 for men and 79.2 years for women, a difference of 7.3 years.
- In Eastern Europe, average life expectancy at birth in 2010 was 63.7 for men and 74.9 years for women, a difference of 11.2 years.
- In Western Europe, average life expectancy at birth in 2010 was 77.9 for men and 83.2 years for women, a difference of 5.3 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).
- For the European region as a whole in 2011, average life expectancy at birth was 72 for men and 79 for women, a difference of 7 years. Life expectancy at age 60 was 19 for men and 23 for women, a difference of four years.
- Italy had the highest healthy life expectancy at birth for men in 2010 at 66.9 years and Russia had the lowest at 55.1 years, a difference of 11.8 years. Switzerland had the highest healthy life expectancy for women at 69.5 years.
- There were 630,000 deaths among men of working age (15-64) in 2007 across Europe, of which almost a third (about 198,000) were before the age of 50 years. By comparison, there were 300,000 deaths in women of working age and about 86,500 deaths before the age of 50.
- The adult mortality rates (the probability of dying per 1,000 population) for men and women aged 15-60 years for the Europe region were 183 for men and 81 for women.
- The main causes of preventable deaths in men include smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, poor diets (too much fat and red/processed meat and too little fruit, vegetables and fibre), being overweight, and a lack of physical exercise. In the European region, 41% of men (aged 15+) smoke compared to 22% women.
- Men are less likely than women to make effective use of primary care services, especially for preventative health care screening (e.g. for hypertension and high cholesterol levels). Men are also less likely to have dental or eye check-ups.
- Only one country in Europe, Ireland, has developed a national policy for addressing men’s health.
Department of Health and Children, Ireland (2008). National Men’s Health Policy 2008 – 2013. Working with men in Ireland to achieve optimum health & wellbeing.
European Commission (2011). The state of men’s health in Europe. Extended report.
Salomon JA, Wang H, Freeman MK, et al.Healthy life expectancy for 187 countries, 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden Disease Study 2010. Lancet 2012; 380:2144-2162.
Wang H, Dwyer-Lindgren L, Lofgren KT, et al. Age-specific and sex-specific mortality in 187 countries, 1970–2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. Lancet 2012; 380:2071–2094.
White A, McKee M, de Sousa B, et al. An examination of the association between premature mortality and life expectancy among men in Europe. European Journal of Public Health 2013; doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckt076.
World Health Organisation (2013). World Health Statistics 2013.