Results: Lifestyle

Social determinants and lifestyle are the biggest factors in premature death.Men are still more likely to smoke than women, much more so in the age group 18-49. Male smokers smoke marginally more cigarettes a day than female smokers and are more likely to smoke roll-ups.

Men are more likely than women to drink alcohol and to drink at levels that are hazardous for health. Men in Blackpool are four times more likely to die from liver disease than men in Central Bedfordshire. 

Some 67% of men are overweight or obese.

The Department of Health, NHS England and PHE have placed a greater emphasis on prevention.

By tackling unhealthy lifestyles, local authorities can reduce the levels of mortality and incidence of diseases. Given that men are more likely to smoke and drink above the recommended levels, more attention must be paid to these behaviours when addressing unequal outcomes.

Alcohol is a category which is regularly gendered in JSNAs, especially Alcohol- Specific Hospital Admissions and Alcohol-Specific Mortality. This is a positive result as it illustrates that many local authorities are recognising the link between men’s health and alcohol. By using statistics available from Local Alcohol Profiles for England, local authorities have been able to recognise men’s health issues concerning alcohol and develop a strategy aimed at reducing health issues related to alcohol.

In contrast, smoking is measured far less by gender. Paradoxically, a far greater proportion of adults in the UK drink alcohol than smoke but smoking appears as a category in the majority of JSNAs.

Two-thirds of men - 67% - are overweight or obese. Obesity, physical activity and sexual health are also key areas which many of the JSNAs fail to approach through a gendered perspective.

It is difficult to understand why local authorities would not include smoking, obesity or sexual health as a gendered measure given the impact these have on men’s health. Local authorities’ gendering all lifestyle behaviours is a crucial step in the right direction for improving male health and preventing premature mortality in men.

However, once again there are areas which perform better. Sefton’s JSNA includes information about the lifestyle of its population. Within this it specifically mentions men’s priorities. The JSNA highlights the fact that 73% of persons in drug treatment are male. Sefton also conducted a lifestyle survey to determine the prevalence of smoking and binge drinking in the local area. They also use the Local Alcohol Profile for England data to determine the alcohol specific admissions and alcohol-specific mortality rates of males in Sefton.

Sexual Health is another key lifestyle category often included in JSNAs but not on a gendered basis. Nevertheless a couple of local authorities have sought to include the rate of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s) in men:

  • Nottinghamshire has used data from NHS Nottinghamshire to include diagnosis rates of STI’s, chlamydia, gonorrhea and genital herpes.
  • Additionally the Triborough JSNA, from the London Boroughs of Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, and Hammersmith and Fulham, has used information from Genitourinary Medicine Clinics to determine the STI diagnosis rates for men.
  • The East Sussex JSNA also included gendered information on all these diagnosis rates as part of their JSNA using data from NHS East Sussex and various primary care trusts across the local area.

Smoking

Prevalence 25%
Related hospital admissions 3%
Stop Smoking Service Users 15%

 

Alcohol

Binge drinking/exceeding recommended limit 29%
Related hospital admissions 57%
Related Mortality 58%
Substance abuse hospital admissions 23%

 

BMI

Adult BMI/BMI Categories 27%
Childhood BMI/BMI Categories 21%

 

Other

Men meeting recommended level physical activity 24%
STI prevalence 14%
Chlamydia prevalence 12%
Gonnorhea prevalence 10%
Genital herpes 7%

 

The Men’s Health Forum need your support

It’s tough for men to ask for help but if you don’t ask when you need it, things generally only get worse. Especially during a major pandemic like Covid-19. So we’re asking.

Men appear more likely to get Covid-19 and far, far more likely to die from it. The Men's Health Forum are working hard pushing for more action on this from government, from health professionals and from all of us. Why are men more affected and what can we do about it? We need the data. We need the research. We need the action. Currently we're the only UK charity doing this - please help us.

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