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Tue 23rd January 2007

Health Inequalities for Men (UK)

Filed under: General — Intrepid @ 8:03 pm

Dateline:UK
By: Daddy Ian
From: The Honor Network

Priority News Exchange Program News Item (PNEP)

Next for something completely different is ‘Health Inequalities’ or ‘why women live longer than men’. I am not a doctor, nor have I trained in any area of medicine. What follows is a summary of my research on this subject and applies mainly to the UK.

It is well known that in virtually every country, women live longer than men. Not by a little but by perhaps 8-10 years, although in Britain, recent figures show the gap is reducing. http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=881

So-called ‘premature deaths’ also have a wide gender difference –

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/03/uk_poverty_and_social_exclusion/html/4.stm

So why is this? Are women tougher/stronger/less susceptible to illness etc or is discrimination at work here as well? I will argue that institutional discrimination throughout the health system is the root cause, magnifying any perceived differences, if any, in biological ‘toughness’.

1) Suicide

The media keep repeating ‘non-stories’ such as this http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/6196716.stm women in afghan

But fail to mention the much bigger problem of male suicides.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/mens_health/mind_suicide.shtml

Since the 1980s the number of women committing suicide in the UK has halved, but the number of men committing suicide has increased by ten per cent. Suicide is now the most common cause of death in men aged under 35.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/5082616.stm in Japan
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour/03/2006_24_tue.shtml

According to the World Health Organisation, China is one of the few countries where more women kill themselves than men. So, of course, WHO are concentrating their efforts on female suicide in China, rather than tackle suicide elsewhere in the world.

According to Bob Geldof, the number one day for suicides in Christmas Day, the number two-day is Father’s Day.

I would argue that as a result of feminist teachings over the years, men are told that they should be ‘tough’ and ‘not cry’. Men find it difficult to talk about their emotions. Men tend to have smaller social circles and tend not to discuss personal issues, problems or other ‘weaknesses’ with male colleagues. All of these factors make it far less likely that men will discuss the problems, and rather that they bottle them up inside. The inevitable explosion leads to all kinds of mental illnesses and suicide is the final straw. Men in the UK are not prone to suicide bombings, but tend to believe they are the only ones going through their problem. Father’s groups in the UK are badly attended and have low membership numbers, in spite of large numbers of victims. There are 2.7million people on Incapacity Benefit and only 1 million on unemployment benefit in the UK. Incapacity benefit is paid out to (mainly men) who are incapable of working for a variety of reasons. Many are mental. I have seen fathers destroyed by family breakdown ending up in mental breakdown. Around 60 suicides specifically said that the Child Support Agency had driven them to kill themselves (see earlier article). Needless to say the Government is trying to reduce the number of people on Incapacity benefit, believing they are mainly ‘scroungers’. The Government is also cutting back mental health expenditure and releasing more and more mentally unstable patients into the community. Many of these untreated or under-treated men are likely to kill or attack others through inability to control their actions.

2) Dangerous Jobs

Another obvious reason for premature deaths is death in the course of your work. Men are far more likely to be employed in dangerous jobs – army, air force, navy, mining, shipbuilding, oil exploration, steeple climbing, road building, construction and heavy engineering. These are all extremely dangerous jobs and largely male industry – not through discrimination, but personal choice. As a result, far more men die at work than women. Even in the military which has to practice so-called ‘equal opportunity’ in practice the women are given ‘safe jobs’ and the men are on the front-line’ How many men have been killed in the pointless invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan? In any country where war has been happening for many years, there is a chronic shortage of men.

For example in Chechnya –

http://www.jamestown.org/publications_details.php?volume_id=416&issue_id=3880

Polygamy is back on the agenda. This is a symptom of the huge numbers of men dying in war.

In fact, one controversial argument in favour of the war by the feminists is to ‘mop up’ the huge numbers of surplus single men who have no chance of getting a partner, and may be ‘dangerous’ to the women (attack/rape etc) if allowed to ‘roam the streets’ with high ‘testosterone’ and no outlet.

3) Driving

The UK has a relatively low rate of road deaths by EU standards.http://www.statistics.gov.uk/STATBASE/ssdataset.asp?vlnk=7254

This equates to about 3200 per year –

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=1208#

I would argue that the majority of people dying on the roads are men, for this reason -Men on average drive more miles per year than women. Men do most of their driving on motorways, women in towns. Men have more accidents on average, but are safer drivers overall as they have fewer accidents per kilometre driven, which is the only sensible way of measuring ‘safe’ driving. The feminist media, such as Diamond insurance, claim that women are safer drivers as the have less accidents. Whilst it is true that they have fewer accidents, this is because they drive fewer miles. My 11-year-old son has never had a driving accident. According to the feminists he is a safer driver than me, who has driven 500,000 miles and had one accident. Which of us would you prefer at the wheel with you as a passenger? Since accidents in town are generally at low speed, there is less chance of a fatality. Motorway accidents tend to be high speed and hence more likely to kill the participants. I would therefore argue that the majority of accidents on the roads kill men not women. Additionally, since the media is obsessed with women’s problems, I suspect this issue would be higher up the agenda if more women died. As anyone who studies the media will observe, it doesn’t affect women it ain’t news.

3) Sickness.

Men are taught from an early age to be ‘tough’ and not to complain. It is a sign of weakness to be sick. As a result, men are far less likely to visit a doctor for medical advice than women. Additionally, women in child-rearing stages are regularly in contact with the medical services and hence are more likely and less reluctant to ask about ‘this pain that won’t go away’. A man is literally more likely to be at death’s door before he approaches a doctor. Also since men are more likely to be working full time they have more problems in getting time off to visit a doctor and it is less likely to be paid. As a result, the five-year survival rates for just about every terminal illness, particularly cancers, are far worse for men than women. In simple terms, the men approach the medical services much later than women. Early detection is one of the biggest indicators in improving survival rates.

4) Prevention

I believe that prevention is better than cure. The Government clearly believes this for women and has introduced mass screening (I would argue not often enough) for women – regular cervical smear tests and breast screens. These have had a dramatic reduction in breast and cervical cancer deaths for women. Men have nothing. Men die from breast cancer as well, but there is no screening program. Men die from prostate cancer, and the screening is a simple blood test to detect the level of prostatic specific antigen, PSA – a key indicator of prostate cancer. The arguments against are complete nonsense – I have attended lectures by senior specialist surgeons in this field – they said that when diagnosed with prostate cancer, they have three choices – cut it out, radiation therapy or ‘wait and see’. The third option means monitoring the PSA regularly to see if it jumps dramatically and then doing one of the other two! This is because so-called benign prostate cancer affects many elderly men and can be ‘left’ rather than treated. It is normally identified by slowly rising PSA. Whilst ‘active’ cancer is indicated by rapidly rising PSA. For this reason I would argue that we should ALL have regular (every 6-12 months over age of 40) PSA blood tests (pinprick) and then we can do our own ‘wait and see’. Whilst the ‘absolute’ PSA level may vary between men, the rate of change is the indicator of ‘something’ happening. I would argue it is gender discrimination and not basic science that is preventing the introduction of mass PSA screening for men.

Alcohol, Drugs and Cigarettes

All of these are extremely dangerous. http://www.roycastle.org/patient/facts.htm

Lung cancer is still the number one cause of death for men. The number one cause of lung cancer is smoking or passive smoking. You shorten your life by the amount of time you spend smoking. As men have realised the dangers of smoking, they have begun to cutback. One of the ‘successes’ of feminism is that women are now enthusiastically taking up all the ‘bad’ habits that were originally restricted to me – smoking, drinking alcohol, drugs to extreme. As a result, the number of women dying from lung cancer and other smoking related diseases is increasing, the number of men dying is decreasing. This is the main reason for the reduction in the gap in life expectancy between the genders.

Summary – If we had a fair Government (which we don’t) and if men and women were considered equally important by the Government (which they are not), then if the aim was to increase every one’s life expectancy by spending money on research into healthy living, disease causes, preventive techniques and screening, you would have thought that they would target the group that had the LOWEST life expectancy first, wouldn’t you? In fact, over 90% of Government funding for the medical services in the UK is spent on services that are wholly or largely devoted to women’s health.

Since most GP’s surgeries (like most facilities and services in the UK) are only open Monday to Friday 9 -6, they are not accessible by the majority of people who work full-time without taking time off work. Since disproportionately more women work part-time, and hence more men work full-time, it is disproportionately more difficult for a man to access GP’s surgeries and hence NHS services than a woman. This is another reason why men are more reluctant to ask for health help and hence have a poorer service as a result of accessing later than women. Since men pay more tax and NHI which is used to fund the service (although women are more likely to receive free prescriptions for medicines than men) it is unfair that they receive less service than the women.

I discovered myself that even though I work virtually next door to a GP’s surgery, they refuse to treat me as I am registered at home (90km away). They said they would give me an appointment, but ‘only in an emergency’! What about prevention being better than cure? How do I know if it is an emergency?

For more of Daddy Ian’s work click:

http://www.honornetwork.com/DaddyIan.html

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