Why do gender health differences exist?

Some diseases, such as prostate and testicular cancer, are biologically defined as male problems. But the underlying causes of this broader pattern of health inequality between genders lies in different exposure to risks, especially at work. This means the difference is not inevitable. These risks include working in occupations with a poorer safety record and 'lifestyle' issues, such as men’s diet and reluctance to talk about personal matters.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the reduction in the proportion of men smoking, along with the decline of heavy industry and the move away from physical labour and manufacturing industries towards the service sector are likely factors in why the gender health gap has narrowed in recent years.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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