Men's health is a field of study that has not received much attention in the past but is now growing by leaps and bounds.
Increased interest in Men's health can be seen in the continuted growth and popularity of magazines on the topic.
The growing interest in men's health began with an increase of interest in diseases of the prostate and testicle.
Prostate disease has always been extremely common, but there has been little agreement about which treatments are most effective.
We know from statistics that half of the male population has what is referred to as "benign prostatic hyperplasia" by the time they are 60 years old. In addition to this, 90% are diagnosed with the same condition by the time they are 85. Prostate cancer has become the second most common cancer in men and the numbers are only increasing.
Although a lot of things need to happen in terms of improving men's health, the important effects of psychosocial pressures on men has gained considerably more attention within our modern society. Statistics now show that most men are likely to die younger from common diseases and are more likely to have unhealthy lifestyles than are women. Men are also likely to drink too much alcohol, smoke tobacco, and to eat a lot less of a healthy diet than women. Risk taking and aggression are also common traits that are more prevalent among men.
Statistics show that it isn't just lifestyles and biology but society's expectations of men that are causing much of the problems.
These expectations make men less able to recognize physical and emotional distress and to seek help.
Differences in status between groups of men are also of concern as are social class differences. Research shows that men of lower social status suffer more money problems, more stress and more feelings of disempowerment within the workplace.
Fortunately, there is a lot of hope for effective interventions in men's health that can remedy the inequalities faced by men. Some 12-step programs offer help and suggest that men can be targeted, particularly at places where they meet together regularly. Still, the prospects are often bleak unless individuals themselves make a concerted effort to improve their overall health situation.
The health status for men will only be reached by addressing social inequalities and by a greater attention to the pressing issues that plague many men today.
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