London: Men are twice as likely as women
to die before 65 because of smoking and alcohol abuse, a new
European Union study has found.
The report showed that 630,000 men of working age die
every year compared with 300,000 female deaths in this age
group across the European Union countries.
For the study, the summary of which was launched in
the European Parliament last week, researchers in particular
looked at the effect of alcohol, drug use and sexual behaviour
on premature death.
They found that across Europe 63 percent of men had
smoked at some point compared to 45 percent of women. It is
estimated around one in seven deaths in the EU could be
attributed to the habit, a newspaper reported.
Men are also more likely to abuse drink and drugs than
women. In 23 out of 31 countries the male death rate from
chronic liver disease is at least double that of women.
The researchers also found that 82 per cent of heroin
overdoses occur in men.
Lead author Professor Alan White of Leeds Metropolitan
University, said: "For the first time we have a clear picture
of men`s health across the EU.
"Previously we had a series of partial pictures by
country or disease area. This now brings it all together so
that policy-makers at all levels across Europe can see exactly
what they`re dealing with and learn from each other."
Co-author Dr Richard de Visser of the University of
Sussex said: "Lifestyles are not simply the product of
individual choice. Those who are in poor material and social
conditions eat less healthily, exercise less and are more
likely to smoke or misuse drugs."
"In the context of addressing premature mortality
among men, there is a growing awareness of the need for
lifestyle modification in early life among men engaged in
damaging health behaviours," he added.
The full report with a national breakdown of figures
will be published later this year.
The EU-commissioned report brings together official
data from across all major disease areas from cancer and heart
disease to mental health.
Men are dying prematurely but the rates at which they
do this vary enormously from country to country. While men in
Iceland can expect to live to 80, Latvian men have a life
expectancy of 66 years.
President of the European Men`s Health Forum Dr Ian
Banks said: "This is not just about health. Premature male
death undermines the economy, undermines families, undermines
women and their health and undermines our social security and
"Europe will have far fewer men of working age in the
years to come so if we`re to succeed economically we need them
to be in decent health." P