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Investing in men’s health in Australia

James A Smith, Mick Adams and Jason Bonson
Med J Aust 2018; 208 (1): 67. || doi: 10.5694/mja17.00173
Published online: 15 January 2018

Building leadership, governance and evaluation capacity to improve men’s health outcomes

Research has consistently shown a sex differential in illness and mortality between men and women.1 It is widely acknowledged that this difference relates to a combination of biological and sociological factors, including the social construction of gender.1,2 Empirical evidence shows that life expectancy among men in Australia has raised slightly over the past decade.1 However, the report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare The health of Australia’s males1 indicates that some men make healthy lifestyle choices and have positive health outcomes. About two-thirds of men participate in sports or physical activities, nearly 40% discuss health lifestyle concerns with a health professional, 20% rate their health as excellent, and survival rates for prostate cancer and testicular cancer in Australia are improving.1 Yet, popular wisdom would have us believe that men are stoic and do not seek help or use health services.2 There are clear indications that the tides are changing.

  • James A Smith1
  • Mick Adams2
  • Jason Bonson3

  • 1 Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT
  • 2 Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet, Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA
  • 3 Men's Health Strategy Unit, Department of Health, Darwin, NT

Correspondence: james.smith3@cdu.edu.au

Acknowledgements: 

We thank the NT Government Department of Local Government and Community Services (now Department of Housing and Community Development) for the provision of a Men’s Leadership Grant to undertake the NT Indigenous Male Research Strategy Think Tank.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

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