The need for a greater policy focus on men’s health

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

Men’s health is problematic in the UK, in Europe and globally. In the UK, male life expectancy, while steadily improving, still lags four years behind female life expectancy. In the EU, the gap is 5.5 years and globally it is six years. There is also, of course, a marked social gradient in male mortality. Recent UK data shows that life expectancy for newborn baby boys is highest in Kensington and Chelsea (83.3 years) and lowest in Blackpool (74.7 years). The social gradient for men is steeper than the gradient for women: deprivation and maleness are a particularly toxic combination. Read the rest of this entry »


It’s time to tackle men’s health, globally

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

Too many men die too young across the world. The statistics could not be much clearer: globally, male life expectancy, at 68 years, lags five years behind female life expectancy. There is not a single country in which men outlive women. Overall, the gap between the sexes has actually widened since 1970 and will widen further by 2030 – by then, male life expectancy is expected be seven years shorter than female life expectancy. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Far-sighted and far-reaching’ – Ireland’s National Men’s Health Policy: A Review

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

My Review of Ireland’s National Men’s Health Policy 2008-13 is now available. The Review was commissioned by the Health Service Executive.

Ireland was the first country in the world to adopt a national men’s health policy (followed by Australia and Brazil). Given the relatively recent emergence of ‘men’s health’ as an important public health issue, the Irish government’s recognition of the need to address it at the strategic policy level was clearly a very far-sighted and significant step and has been widely recognised as such. Read the rest of this entry »


It’s time to vaccinate boys against HPV

Monday, April 13th, 2015

It’s time boys were included in HPV vaccination programmes, most of which currently target girls only. A start has been made – gender-neutral vaccination is already happening in Austria, Australia, the United States and parts of Canada. The vaccination of boys will also start soon in Israel and is now recommended in Switzerland. But HPV does not respect national borders. The European Men’s Health Forum (EMHF) believes this very common but also nasty and dangerous sexually transmitted infection can only be tamed, and hopefully ultimately eliminated altogether, by comprehensive and international action to immunise both sexes. Read the rest of this entry »


Men’s health: A problem hidden in plain sight?

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

The poor state of men’s health must be one of the biggest health issues routinely not talked about. It is ignored or sidelined by virtually all national governments and by global public health organisations, such as the World Health Organization. It is barely addressed by policymakers, professional organisations, public health non-governmental organisations, researchers, or practitioners. Dishearteningly, men’s health problems are sometimes seen as a source of amusement, with men even being described as ‘idiots.’

This blog was published in the BMJ on 2 March 2015. To read the full content, click here.


Marmot calls for action on men’s health

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Advocates of men’s health have just received an unexpected but very welcome support from one of the most significant figures in public health globally. Professor Sir Michael Marmot has, for the first time, stated that ‘More focus on men’s health [is] needed.’ These few words could make a huge difference. Read the rest of this entry »


Review of Ireland’s National Men’s Health Policy

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

I have been asked by the Department of Health/Health Services Executive to carry out a review of the impact of Ireland’s National Men’s Health Policy 2008-2013. This review will also inform the future direction of men’s health policy in the context of Healthy Ireland. The Review will be undertaken between June and December 2014. Read the rest of this entry »


Equality for Men? A review of Glen Poole’s eBook

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

This is well worth a look: a new eBook, Equality for Men, by Glen Poole, Director of the consultancy Helping Men and organiser of the equality4men social media campaign. It is an accessible and well-argued attempt to map out a new approach to gender equality that is supported by a mass of data that shows just how bad things are for men and boys in many areas of their lives, including health, fatherhood, education, work and crime. Many of those who argue for men’s rights quickly lapse into anti-feminism and misogyny, blaming women for all men’s problems. I was delighted to see that Glen does not share this unsavoury perspective and declares his support for tackling discrimination against women. But I nevertheless remain unconvinced by some of his core arguments. Read the rest of this entry »


Five minutes with … a men’s health consultant

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

This is the text of a short interview with me that appeared in The Guardian on 21 February 2014. Read the rest of this entry »


A STEP INTO NO MAN’S LAND: Improving men’s use of primary care services

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Men are not a success story for the UK’s health services. Their unnecessarily poor health and early death is in fact good news only for the funeral business.

Is this because the Y chromosome and a problematic prostate condemn men to physical frailty or because they are simply foolish, feckless and increasingly fat? Much better explanations are that men have been brought up to believe they have to be strong, silent and stoical and that health services have not done enough to change men’s risk-taking behaviours or help them to access services. Read the rest of this entry »