Men’s Health Stats:

Medically approved by
Dr Earim Chaudry
Last updated
15th March 2022

In 30 seconds

Certain health problems affect different genders in different ways. We’ve compiled these men’s health stats to show the range of factors affecting males of all ages. From mental illness to hypertension to COVID-19, this is the key data on men’s health you need to know.

General Men’s Health Statistics

Every man is different. But in general, men are more likely to be in poor health and die earlier than women. Here’s what you should know.

Men’s Mental Health Stats

Many people of all genders suffer from poor mental health at some point in their lives. Yet men are at greater risk of some mental health problems than others. Here are the numbers:

  • 75% of suicides are male (Office for National Statistics, 2018)
  • Suicide is the leading cause of male death under the age of 50 in England and Wales (NHS, 2018)
  • 13.2% of men are suffering from a mental health disorder (NHS Digital, 2014)
    • 8% of men in the 16-24 age group have reported self-harm
    • Men are less likely to receive treatment for mental health conditions than women, with 9% of men and 15% of women
  • 12% of men said that the last time they took time off work to see a GP was because they were “constantly feeling stressed or under pressure”, according to one survey (Men’s Health Forum, 2016)
  • Men report lower life satisfaction than women, with those between 45 and 59 reporting the lowest levels (ONS, 2016)
  • Men are 3 times more likely to be alcohol dependent than women (UK Parliament)
  • 28% of men had not sought medical help for the last mental health problem they experienced, compared to 19% of women, according to a survey (Mental Health Foundation, 2016)

Read more key figures on mental health: Mental Health Stats

Men’s Lifestyles

While men, in general, do more exercise than women, not all men are living a healthy lifestyle. Here’s what to know:

  • Only 6% of men are achieving the government recommended level of physical activity (NHS Digital, 2014)
  • 24% of men eat the recommended 5 portions of vegetables and fruit a day (NHS Digital, 2017)
  • 41% of UK men say they don’t get the right amount of sleep, compared to 54% of women (Aviva, 2017)
  • 67% of men are overweight or obese, higher rates than in women (NHS Digital, 2020)
  • In England in 2014, 81% of men and 53% of women were estimated to exceed the recommended maximum salt consumption of 6g per day (Public Health England, 2014)
  • 33% of adult men had a healthy weight compared to 41% of women in one 2016 survey (HSE, 2016)
  • In England in 2018, 16.4% of men report smoking compared to 12.6% of women (NHS Digital, 2019)
  • 31% of men and 16% of women drink over 14 units in a usual week (Health Survey for England, 2015)
    • Adults in higher-income households were more likely to drink over 14 units in a typical week than those in lower-income households. 37% of men in households in the highest income group drank at higher risk levels, compared with 27% in lower-income households

Health Risks for Men

Men are at considerably greater risk of some health issues than women:

  • Middle-aged men are twice as likely to have diabetes as women — and twice as likely not to know they have it (Diabetes UK, 2009)
  • 51.9% of men in the US have high blood pressure (CDC, 2020)
  • 75% of premature deaths from heart disease are in men (Men’s Health Forum)
    • Men are 1.5 times more likely to die of heart disease or cardiovascular disease
  • In males in the UK, prostate cancer is the 2nd most common cause of cancer death, with around 11,900 deaths in 2018 (Cancer Research UK, 2022)
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED) could affect as many as 76.5% of men throughout their lifetime (BJUI Journal, 2019)

Men and COVID-19

Finally, gender is one of the most significant risk factors for falling ill and dying from COVID-19:

  • Between March 2020 and January 2021, 18% more men died of COVID-19 than women (63,700 men compared to 53,300 women) (Office of National Statistics, 2021)
  • Of all countries globally, only 12 countries showed a higher death rate from COVID-19 among women than men (Global Health 50/50, 2022)
    • For every 10 female ICU admissions for COVID-19, there are 17 male admissions
    • For every 10 female confirmed cases that have died, there are 15 male
  • As of October 2021, 65,000 more men had died of COVID-19 than women (Brookings, 2021)

Health Literacy in Men

Health literacy is the term to describe the ability and interest to access and understand health information. Unfortunately, men are generally much less health literate than other genders:

  • Men are more than twice as likely as women to have inadequate health literacy (Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 2007)
  • Men are less likely to seek healthcare than women, with the consultation rate among men between 16 and 60 years of age at 32% less than among women (BMJ, 2013)
  • 75% of men will put off going to the doctor even when showing signs of illness, with 38% saying it’s not important (Gillette and Movember, 2018)

Key Takeaways

Too many men are not taking their health seriously — and these men’s health stats show just how at risk we can be. 

Find out more about men’s health and how you can look after yourself better at Manual’s Health Centre.

FAQs

Are Men More Likely to Have Health Issues?

There’s no evidence to suggest that men are more likely to have health issues. But they are more likely to ignore them or not recognise they have them. Even when men do notice their health problems, they are less likely to get them checked out.

What Percentage of Men Have a Smoking Problem?

16.4% of men report smoking, compared to 12.6% of women.

References

  1. STATISTICS The key data on men’s health. https://www.menshealthforum.org.uk/statistics

  2. National life tables – life expectancy in the UK: 2018 to 2020. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/lifeexpectancies/bulletins/nationallifetablesunitedkingdom/2018to2020

  3. Using speed of ageing and “microlives” to communicate the effects of lifetime habits and environment. https://www.bmj.com/content/345/bmj.e8223

  4. Leading causes of death, UK: 2001 to 2018. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/causesofdeath/articles/leadingcausesofdeathuk/2001to2018

  5. Suicides in the UK: 2018 registrations. https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/suicidesintheunitedkingdom/2018registrations

  6. Tackling the root causes of suicide. https://www.england.nhs.uk/blog/tackling-the-root-causes-of-suicide/

  7. Mental Health and Wellbeing in England Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2014. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/556596/apms-2014-full-rpt.pdf

  8. KEY DATA: MENTAL HEALTH Statistics on mental health and men. https://www.menshealthforum.org.uk/key-data-mental-health

  9. People aged 40-59 are least happy and most anxious, report finds. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/feb/02/middle-aged-people-least-happy-most-anxious-ons-wellbeing-report

  10. Mental health of men and boys: follow-up. https://committees.parliament.uk/work/124/mental-health-of-men-and-boys-followup/

  11. Survey of people with lived experience of mental health problems reveals men less likely to seek medical support. https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/news/survey-people-lived-experience-mental-health-problems-reveals-men-less-likely-seek-medical

  12. Statistics on Obesity,Physical Activity and Diet. https://www.scribd.com/document/376164426/Obes-phys-acti-diet-eng-2014-rep-1-pdf

  13. Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/613532/obes-phys-acti-diet-eng-2017-rep.pdf

  14. As many as 16 million UK adults* are suffering from sleepless nights as a third (31%) say they have insomnia. https://www.aviva.com/newsroom/news-releases/2017/10/Sleepless-cities-revealed-as-one-in-three-adults-suffer-from-insomnia/

  15. Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet, England, 2020. https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/statistics-on-obesity-physical-activity-and-diet/england-2020/part-3-adult-obesity-copy

  16. NDNS: assessment of dietary sodium in adults in England, 2014. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-diet-and-nutrition-survey-assessment-of-dietary-sodium-in-adults-in-england-2014

  17. Health Survey for England, 2016 Official statistics, National statistics, Survey. https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/health-survey-for-england/health-survey-for-england-2016

  18. Statistics on Smoking, England – 2019 [NS] [PAS]. https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/statistics-on-smoking/statistics-on-smoking-england-2019

  19. Health Survey for England 2015 Adult alcohol consumptionhttps://www.manual.co/health-centre/wp-admin/post.php?post=20095&action=edit

While we've ensured that everything you read on the Health Centre is medically reviewed and approved, information presented here is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

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