Male deaths outnumber female deaths in every age group apart from the over 65 years and only because so many men die before reaching retirement. Compared to women, men visit the doctor less frequently, have shorter visits and only attend when their illness is in its later stages.
Data collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2016 tells us that the leading causes of ill-health for Australian men include, in order from first to last:
- Ischaemic heart disease
- Trachea and lung cancer
- Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
- Cerebrovascular disease
- Chronic lower respiratory diseases
- Prostate cancer
- Colon and rectum cancer
- Blood and lymph cancer including leukaemia
Some causes of death are related to gender. For example a man can't die from ovarian cancer as only women have ovaries and a woman can't die from prostate cancer as only men have a prostate gland.
However men outnumber women in a number of non-gender related deaths. For example;
- Suicide – 75 percent of deaths are male
- Trachea and lung cancers – 60 percent are male
- Blood and lymph cancers (including leukaemia) – 58 per cent of deaths are male
- Ischaemic heart disease - 57 per cent of deaths are male
- Colon and rectum cancers – 55 percent of deaths are male
Some of the theories
Women have much larger and more reliable social networks than men. Women tend to be in touch with their feelings and with other women, and have a remarkable ability to express their thoughts and emotions. Strong relationships and good communication seem to help explain why women live longer.
Women are more likely to have regular contact with doctors because of reproductive issues such as menstrual periods, contraception and pregnancy. Men don’t have a similar reason that requires them to regularly see a doctor and may feel uncomfortable visiting doctors.
Men are traditionally encouraged to do the high risk jobs that are stressful, dangerous and deadly such as mining, logging and construction.