Short answer: Improving men's health from a physical, mental and holistic perspective is of benefit to men, their partners and families, the wider community and the economy.
Statistically, men in Australia are more likely to die from both preventable disease and injuries than women, while facing poorer outcomes than women on almost all measures of key health and well-being. On average, men have lower life expectancy and higher levels of mortality from almost all non-gender specific causes of death and injury including cardiovascular disease, cancer, suicide and obesity.
Young adult males experience higher than average levels of mental health concerns from ages 15-24, with suicide, self-inflicted injuries and alcohol misuse the main issues seen in the Australian health system. Alcohol misuse negatively impacts young men’s mental health by increased risk of involvement in violence, assaults and road accidents, as well as poorer health outcomes associated with a vast number of chronic health conditions.
Between the ages of 25-60 years, it’s important for men to have regular medical check-ups and make positive lifestyle choices such as reducing alcohol consumption and quitting smoking to support better health for heart, lung, brain, muscle and reproductive function. Type 2 diabetes is also more common in men than women, with risk of developing diabetes increasing with age.
Coronary disease and lung cancer are some of the leading causes of poor health for men into middle age. The risk of acquiring these are greatly reduced through being physically active, consuming a healthy diet and managing both weight and blood pressure.
Prostate disease is a significant health concern, with 1 in 6 men diagnosed with prostate cancer by the age of 85. It is more common in older men, with over 63% of cases diagnosed in men over 65 years of age. Men can help to decrease their risk by making necessary lifestyle changes and having regular check-ups with their GP.
From age 70 years and onwards, along with coronary disease, dementia and health impacts from falls also become an increasing concern.
Supporting the health and wellbeing of men needs to be recognised as a whole-of-community issue. This should include a focus on promoting and facilitating men’s healthy living and strengthening health and community services to men.
At WLC Medical, we offer a range of allied health services that can assist with an overall healthier lifestyle and are privileged to be sponsors of 3 local sporting clubs, including Belmont Cricket Club, Victoria Park Belmont Baseball Club and Belmont Districts Football Club.
Improving our health can fortunately begin any time, but if it requires a bit of a shake up, the best time to start is now.