Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Global health policy fails to address burden of disease on men

Date:
May 16, 2013
Source:
University College London - UCL
Summary:
Men experience a higher burden of disease and lower life expectancy than women, but policies focusing on the health needs of men are notably absent from the strategies of global health organizations, according to experts.

Men's occupational health risks in Mumbai.
Credit: UCL

Men experience a higher burden of disease and lower life expectancy than women, but policies focusing on the health needs of men are notably absent from the strategies of global health organisations, according to a Viewpoint article in this week's Lancet.

Related Articles


The article reinterprets data from the 'Global Burden of Disease: 2010' study which shows that all of the top ten causes of premature death and disability, and top ten behavioural risk factors driving rates of ill-health around the world, affect men more than they affect women.

In every region of the world men die at a younger age than women and the smallest decline in global mortality rates over the past 40 years has been experienced by young men aged 25-39 years.

The commentary, written by Dr Sarah Hawkes of the UCL Institute for Global Health and Dr Kent Buse of UNAIDS, reviews the responses of major global health institutions and finds that efforts and resources are focused more often on the health needs of women. The authors argue that global health institutions should start tackling the social norms and commercial interests that push men to take risks with their health.

"Gender norms drive risk-taking," says Dr Sarah Hawkes. "Drinking alcohol and smoking, in particular, are subject to social pressures which have resulted in men globally running three times the risk of ill-health from these behaviours compared to women. These norms and customs are clearly perpetuated by all of us, and exploited by commercial interests."

Dr Hawkes, an expert in sexual health, continues: "The global health community has made real strides in acknowledging and addressing unsafe sex, we must now do the same for 'unsafe gender'.

"We recognise that women are disadvantaged in many societies and consider the advancement of women central to sustainable development, but this does not imply that the international community has no responsibility to promote and protect men's health too."

Co-author Dr Kent Buse, Chief, Political Affairs and Strategy at UNAIDS, says: "It is more or less universally acknowledged that gender plays a significant role in the risks associated with unsafe/unprotected sex -- in this case placing women at greater risk. So why is it so difficult to accept that gender also plays a role in the risk of other major burdens of illness and premature death globally -- particularly those that effect men disproportionately?

"The global health community is taking a short-sighted view," continues Dr Buse. "The drivers of ill-health in men are the same drivers of the emerging burden of illness in women. It is time that policy-makers face up to gender in global health and tackle the interests that stand between us and good health for everyone."

The views were echoed by Professor Chris Murray of the University of Washington, author of the original study on which this analysis is based: "We as a society should not have lower aspirations for health for males than females. Everyone deserves a chance at a long life in full health, regardless of where they live, their gender, or their economic situation."

Professor Davidson Gwatkin from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health stated: "This is by far the most interesting and thought-provoking piece on gender inequalities I have read in a long time. The international health community stands to benefit greatly from such iconoclastic thinking and from the extensive discussion it deserves to generate."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University College London - UCL. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sarah Hawkes, Kent Buse. Gender and global health: evidence, policy, and inconvenient truths. The Lancet, 2013; 381 (9879): 1783 DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)60253-6

Cite This Page:

University College London - UCL. "Global health policy fails to address burden of disease on men." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130516215418.htm>.
University College London - UCL. (2013, May 16). Global health policy fails to address burden of disease on men. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130516215418.htm
University College London - UCL. "Global health policy fails to address burden of disease on men." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130516215418.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Daily Serving Of Yogurt Could Reduce Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) Need another reason to eat yogurt every day? Researchers now say it could reduce a person's risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins