Measure of a Man

By Steve Barrett
Thursday, March 1, 2018

Complex hereditary and sociocultural factors exert strong — though not necessarily decisive — influences on men’s health. That creates challenges and opportunities for medical providers who address men’s healthcare needs.

While men and women alike are living longer worldwide, women live significantly longer on average, according to the World Health Organization. Individual choices and cultural expectations both play a role in that disparity. Among the social determinants of men’s health, according to a WHO assessment, are “greater levels of occupational exposure to physical and chemical hazards, behaviours associated with male norms of risk-taking and adventure, health behaviour paradigms related to masculinity and the fact that men are less likely to visit a doctor when they are ill and, when they see a doctor, are less likely to report on the symptoms of disease or illness.”

A Struggle with Weight

About 73% of U.S. men age 20 or older are overweight or obese.

  • 73% Overweight or Obese
  • 26% Normal Weight
  • 1% Below Normal Weight

Ongoing Challenges

Among men 18 years or older:

  • About 32% had at least five drinks in a single day one or more times in the past year.
  • About 18% smoke cigarettes.
  • About 12% consider themselves to be in poor or fair health.

Leading Causes of Death among Men

  • Heart disease — 24.5%
  • Cancer — 23.4%
  • Accidents — 6.4%

Shunning Care

The top five reasons men avoid seeing a physician regularly:

  1. They do not have a physician.
  2. They have no insurance.
  3. They believe their health is probably good.
  4. They lack the time.
  5. They worry about the expense.