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USA: A silent crisis in men’s health gets worse

A silent crisis in men’s health is shortening the life spans of fathers, husbands, brothers and sons.

For years, the conventional wisdom has been that a lack of sex-specific health research mainly hurts women and gender minorities. While those concerns are real, a closer look at longevity data tells a more complicated story.

Across the life span — from infancy to the teen years, midlife and old age — the risk of death at every age is higher for boys and men than for girls and women:

  • Men are at a greater risk of dying from covid-19 than women, a gap that cannot be explained by rates of infection or preexisting conditions. 
  • More men die of diabetes than women. 
  • The cancer mortality rate is higher among men — 189.5 per 100,000 — compared with 135.7 per 100,000 for women. 
  • Men die by suicide nearly four times more often than women, based on 2020 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

“Some people think health care is a zero sum gain and one dollar to men’s health is taking something away from women,” said Ronald Henry, president and co-founder of the Men’s Health Network, an advocacy group. “That’s wrong. We are fully supportive of women’s health efforts and improving quality of life for women.”

"But by viewing men as the privileged default, health experts are ignoring important sex differences that could illuminate health issues across gender and minority groups."

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: The Washington Post, 17 April 2023


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