Intended for healthcare professionals


The state of men’s health in Europe

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 29 November 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d7054
  1. Gregory Malcher, general practitioner
  1. 1Daylesford, VIC, 3460, Australia
  1. malcher{at}

Conventional primary care won’t get the job done

The European Commission’s recently published report, The State of Men’s Health in Europe, shows marked differences in health outcomes between men,1 which are strongly related to their biology, culture, and socioeconomic realities.

The report is a huge undertaking: an attempt to describe the salient health issues of the 290 million men and boys of the 27 member states of the European Union, the four states of the European Free Trade Association, and three EU candidate countries.

Included in its findings are that: working age men have significantly higher mortality rates than working age women (210% higher mortality rate in the 15-64 age range; 630 000 men per year versus 300 000 women); public health activity that benefits men’s health is patchy across the EU; and working men underuse health services compared with women and unemployed men. A key conclusion of the report is that “Gender equality initiatives will have a positive impact on the way men’s needs are taken into account within government health strategies and at the more local practitioner level.”1

Health ministers should be reminded by their treasury counterparts that because of lower birth rates, rising life expectancy, and the higher death rate in men in the 15-64 age group, by 2060 there will be …

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