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Men 'ignore' state of health

WHEN it comes to getting their car regularly serviced most men have no difficulty acting responsibly.

So why is it that they're far more likely to take a 'head in the sand' approach to the state of their own health, often with serious, even fatal, consequences?

Currently, men of all ages have a 64% higher death rate than women.

The average life expectancy for women is 84, but for men it's only 79 years.

Why are men's lives, on average, five years shorter than women's?

The Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand is appealing to men to reflect on the mortality gender gap and take action to address it.

While previous theories cited genetic factors at play, latest research suggests the average adult male's lack of basic personal health awareness is more likely to be the key problem.

Urologists are at the forefront of a range of men's health issues, including some of the biggest killers of Australian men such as kidney, bladder and prostate cancer.

Each year more than 3000 Australian men die from prostate cancer, and men are twice as likely as women to develop kidney and bladder cancers.

"Men are more prone to developing a cancer and to dying prematurely from it and in very large part this seems due to indifference about seeking medical assistance, resulting in delayed diagnosis," says president of the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand Dr Stephen Ruthven.

"Men tend not to go to the doctor unless they're already in serious pain or spooked about something.

"On top of that that there are issues blokes just don't like thinking about, let alone talking about, such as the health of their prostates or erectile dysfunction.

"However, men need to know that some of these things can be important early warning signs of potentially very serious health issues that can only be treated if detected in time, such as heart disease or diabetes."

Topics:  gender health lifestyle men



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