Male gender is a significant risk factor for premature death in Australia, across all socioeconomic groups, but in particular in the most socioeconomically disadvantaged.1 This excess mortality predominantly relates to increased cardiovascular disease, accidents and suicides, and, as such, relates to a significant extent to preventable disease. Many of the risk factors for chronic disease such as cigarette smoking, poor diet, physical inactivity, overweight and obesity, and alcohol and substance abuse remain high among men.2 Men are over represented in deaths related to HIV disease, intentional self harm and accidents.3 Yet men seek help for health problems less than women, use health services less than women, and have fewer consultations with general practitioners. There are both sociocultural and biological influences at play. Men are encultured with values such as stoicism, suppression of emotion, independence and self reliance, and so help seeking behaviour is seen as less acceptable.
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