Editorials

The future of men and their health

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.323.7320.1013 (Published 03 November 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:1013

Are men in danger of extinction?

  1. Siegfried Meryn, professor of medicine and chairman and president of the First World Congress on Men's Health (siegfried.meryn@univie.ac.at),
  2. Alejandro R Jadad, director, program in ehealth innovation
  1. Center for Advanced Medical Education and Health Communication, Institute for Medical Education, Medical Faculty, University of Vienna, A-1090Vienna, Austria
  2. Department of Health Policy, Management, and Evaluation, University Health Network and University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5G 2C4, Canada

    It may seem incredible now, but up to just 25 years ago there was very limited research specifically targeted at women's health. The world seemed to assume that, except for issues related to reproduction, women's health problems, needs, and solutions were essentially the same as men's.1 As a result of vigorous lobbying by women from all over the world, research on women's health needs mushroomed in less than three decades. Major studies are now generating increasing evidence on important differences between men and women, from the cellular to the societal level.2

    Almost by default, the strong emphasis on women's issues (which we applaud and support) has revealed areas of men's health that require just as much attention. Perhaps one of the most puzzling is the difference in life expectancy between men and women. Despite having had most of the social determinants of health in their favour, men have higher mortality rates for all 15 leading causes of death3 and a life expectancy about …

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