Men's health: COVID-19 pandemic highlights need for overdue policy action

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Article at The Lancet, by Peter Baker, Alan White and Rosemary Morgan.


The COVID-19 pandemic is shining a cruel light on the state of men's health globally. In 38 out of 43 countries for which provisional data were available, as of June 10, 2020, more men than women have died from COVID-19 despite a similar number of confirmed cases in each sex. In several countries, including the Netherlands, Dominican Republic, and Spain, about twice as many men as women have died from COVID-19. International Men's Health Week on June 15–21 is an opportune time to focus attention on this issue and the need for a new and systematic approach to improve the health of men generally.

Men and women are differentially affected by COVID-19. Although more men are dying from COVID-19, women are also substantially impacted by the disease. Their role as health workers and carers puts them at risk of infection, they have paid a heavy price economically and in terms of increased domestic burdens, and they have been even more likely than usual to experience domestic violence during lockdown. An equal role for women in global health leadership is required to ensure that their needs are included in policy. The differential harmful effects of the pandemic on gender and racial minorities must also be recognised.

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