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More Focus Needed On Health Of Men Worldwide, Lancet Commentary Says

“Men experience a higher burden of disease and lower life expectancy than women, but policies focusing on the health needs of men are notably absent from the strategies of global health organizations,” according to a recent Lancet commentary, a University College London press release reports (Weston, 5/16). “If you look at the top 10 health problems around the world, they are much more common in men. … But the current focus is predominantly on women’s health,” commentary author Sarah Hawkes of the Institute for Global Health at University College London said, NPR’s “Shots” blog writes (Doucleff, 5/18). According to the press release, the commentary argues “that global health institutions should start tackling the social norms and commercial interests that push men to take risks with their health” (5/16).

In the commentary, Hawkes and co-author Kent Buse of UNAIDS “survey the evidence for the role of gender in health status, analyze responses to gender by key global health actors, and propose strategies for mainstreaming gender-related evidence into policies and programs,” they write. The commentary was included in a special theme issue published by The Lancet ahead of the 2013 Women Deliver conference, to be held May 28-30 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (5/18).