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Report reveals male health inequalities

03 December 2014

The first ever report on the state of men’s health in Jersey as been released this week.

The main message from the report is that the higher levels of illness and premature deaths seen in men in Jersey are not inevitable; many of the premature deaths could be prevented.

The report compares the health of men in Jersey with women, and has found shocking patterns of health inequality: For almost every important health outcome, including the main cause of deaths and early deaths, men are faring significantly worse than women.

The State of Men’s Health in Jersey

The production of a local report was inspired by a similar piece of work conducted in Europe which had similar findings, and this work provides useful local evidence to improve awareness and encourage targeted activity.

Key findings include:

  • men die younger than women and have a higher incidence illnesses causing hospital admission
  • the two main causes of premature death in men are cardiovascular disease and cancer
  • men have higher adverse lifestyle and behavioural risk factors than women – smoking, harmful alcohol consumption and overweight or obesity
  • more than half of men in Jersey are overweight or obese, raising their chances of diabetes, heart disease and a number of different cancers
  • one in five deaths are smoking-related
  • the fact that our men have much higher death rates due to cancer than women with similar cancers suggests men here are not seeking medical advice as quickly. Later diagnosis of cancer means a lower chance of cure

Messages for men

Key messages to men are:

  • you can improve your own chances of living longer by getting help to stop smoking; drinking sensibly; and watching your waistline
  • anyone worried about lumps, bumps, pain or bleeding should not wait to get checked

Senator Andrew Green, Minister for Health and Social Services, said “This is a really pivotal piece of work and I am delighted it is being launched so early in my tenure.

"It looks like too many men are not doing enough to look after their own health. This is a wake-up call for men in Jersey to start looking after their health better; and if they are not prepared to do it for their own sake, maybe they might take some steps to help prevent early death for their families’ sake instead.”


Important conversations

Dr Susan Turnbull, Medical Officer of Health added “The disparity between men’s and women’s health in our small Island is frankly shocking, as is the fact that men are dying younger in such high numbers, and for mostly preventable reasons.

“Armed with this new knowledge, my hope is that it will start important conversations all around the island among men, and within families about what can be done to help more men to stay out of the ‘early deaths’ statistics – these are a tragedy for every family – and live healthier, longer and enjoyable lives free from avoidable illness instead.

"In a population of our size, we can and should be making strenuous efforts to – year by year – start levelling up this unacceptable health inequality between our men and our women.”

Health inequality

Marguerite Clarke, the report’s analyst and author said “This is the first dedicated look at a health inequality in the Island, with the findings highlighting that men in our Island have worse health behaviours and subsequently worse health outcomes than their female counterparts. Men are more likely to develop and die from cancer, less likely to interact with health services and are expected to live, on average, five years less than women.” 

Read The States of Men's Health in Jersey report online

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