Men in poor state of health: Adelaide study

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

New findings from a large health study of men from Adelaide's north-western suburbs present "an alarming picture" with a high burden of chronic disease. Almost 16% of the men have diabetes and 12% depression.

The 'cohort profile' of almost 1200 men involved in the University of Adelaide's Florey Adelaide Male Ageing Study (FAMAS) was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology and showed that much of the problem of chronic disease may relate to obesity. Only 19.9% of the men had "normal" body weight, 47.3% were overweight and a further 31.5% were obese.

Other findings indicate a complex interplay between chronic disease and personal and social factors (for example an association between low income status and obesity and diabetes in men, and depression was associated with income, occupational and marital status).

These results and other research from the Florey Adelaide Male Ageing Study will be the focus of a symposium today at the University of Adelaide to research priorities for improving men's health.

Study Chief Investigator and Head of the University's School of Medicine Professor Gary Wittert said: "Australian men are dying earlier - often with preventable underlying conditions - and suffer higher rates of physical and psychological disease than women. Men are also less likely than women to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Together with the overall ageing population, this has serious implications for the community and economy. But very little work is being done that specifically concentrates on men's health."

FAMAS is a longitudinal study of men aged 35-80 examining the health and health-related behaviours of 1195 randomly selected men living in the north west regions of Adelaide.

"The findings help to identify appropriate strategies for intervention," Professor Wittert said.

The symposium, 'Male Health and Ageing in South Australia: Longitudinal Perspectives', will hear from key researchers in the fields of men's health and ageing research. Adelaide Thinker in Residence Professor Ilona Kickbusch will lead a panel discussion of these issues and future research directions.


Contact Details

Professor Gary Wittert
Head of Discipline of Medicine, Medical Specialties
The University of Adelaide
Mobile: 0409 411 789

Ms Robyn Mills
Media and Communications Officer
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 6341
Mobile: +61 410 689 084