Men’s Health Week: Protecting yourself from COVID-19

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Health Assured team

14 May 2020

According to data analysis from the Men’s Health Forum, 59% of excess deaths reported in April 2020 were male.

 

On the 15th - 21st June, the world acknowledges Men’s Health Week 2020. The campaign is organised by the Men’s Health Forum and aims to raise awareness of preventable health problems that disproportionately affect men and encourage them to gain the courage to tackle their issues without stigma.

 

While there are numerous health concerns that are statistically more common in men, such as suicide, alcohol abuse and heart disease, there have been increasing reports that the recent COVID-19 outbreak is posing a greater risk to men than women.

 

This is why this Men’s Health Week, we will be highlighting the relationship between the coronavirus outbreak and men’s health, as well as top tips on the most effective methods of avoiding the virus.

 

COVID-19 & men’s health

At the time of writing, the latest figures from the World Health Organization (WHO) have found that 63% of deaths related to COVID-19 in Europe have been among men.

 

In regards to what occupations have been affected the most, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have reported that men working as road transport drivers, including taxi, bus and lorry drivers are among those who at the highest risk being affected by COVID-19.

 

Why are men more likely to be affected by COVID-19?

At the time of writing, there isn’t a definitive reason why men are statistically more affected than women by the COVID-19 pandemic. The reasons could be biological, cultural and/or behavioural.

 

Experts have suggested that due to the differences in immune systems between men and women, this may play a part in women having stronger immune defences, thus improving their chances in beating off the virus.

 

It is also known that the virus is more dangerous for people with existing health issues, particularly cardiovascular problems and hypertension - both of which disproportionately affect men.

 

Research has found that this is partially due to behavioural problems in men, as on average more men indulge in unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as smoking and excessive drinking, than women.

 

With a recent audit of adult critical care showing that men make up 70% of COVID-19 patients in critical care, it’s clear that men may have to consider taking extra precautions in avoiding the virus.

 

Avoiding COVID-19: top tips

  1. Social distance - remain at least two meters apart from anyone outside of your household. For example, if you enter a supermarket, engage in exercise outside or if travelling for work purposes.
  2. Wash your hands - often with antibacterial soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public space or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  3. Cover your mouth and nose - with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Make sure that you put used tissues in the bin immediately, avoid touching your face afterwards and wash your hands as soon as possible.
  4. Don’t smoke - while smoking, the chances of transmitting the virus is increased when the smokers fingers touches their mouth.

 

It’s important to know that regardless of your gender, we are all susceptible to contracting COVID-19, and that we should all be putting measures in place to protect ourselves from the illness.

 

All information and guidance provided within this article is in line with the UK government’s guidelines at the time of publication (May 2020). For the most recent information and updates on the COVID-19 outbreak, please visit of Employee FAQs page.

 

 

It’s important to know that if you need to access our services to discuss any concerns you may have, our confidential helpline is available 24/7, 365.

 

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