London: Men are twice as likely as womento die before 65 because of smoking and alcohol abuse, a newEuropean Union study has found. The report showed that 630,000 men of working age dieevery year compared with 300,000 female deaths in this agegroup across the European Union countries. For the study, the summary of which was launched inthe European Parliament last week, researchers in particularlooked at the effect of alcohol, drug use and sexual behaviouron premature death.
Lead author Professor Alan White of Leeds MetropolitanUniversity, said: "For the first time we have a clear pictureof men`s health across the EU. "Previously we had a series of partial pictures bycountry or disease area. This now brings it all together sothat policy-makers at all levels across Europe can see exactlywhat they`re dealing with and learn from each other." Co-author Dr Richard de Visser of the University ofSussex said: "Lifestyles are not simply the product ofindividual choice. Those who are in poor material and socialconditions eat less healthily, exercise less and are morelikely to smoke or misuse drugs."
"In the context of addressing premature mortalityamong men, there is a growing awareness of the need forlifestyle modification in early life among men engaged indamaging health behaviours," he added. The full report with a national breakdown of figureswill be published later this year. The EU-commissioned report brings together officialdata from across all major disease areas from cancer and heartdisease to mental health. Men are dying prematurely but the rates at which theydo this vary enormously from country to country. While men inIceland can expect to live to 80, Latvian men have a lifeexpectancy of 66 years. President of the European Men`s Health Forum Dr IanBanks said: "This is not just about health. Premature maledeath undermines the economy, undermines families, undermineswomen and their health and undermines our social security andhealth services. "Europe will have far fewer men of working age in theyears to come so if we`re to succeed economically we need themto be in decent health." PPTI
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