Key Determinants of the Health and Well-Being of Men and Boys

WILL H. COURTENAY

Abstract


Men in the United States suffer more severe chronic conditions
and die six years younger than women. For all leading causes of
death, and in every age group, men and boys have higher death
rates than women and girls. Despite these risks, little is known
about the gender-specific health and health care needs of men and
boys. This multidisciplinary review provides an overview and
summary of key determinants of the health and well-being of men
and boys in the United States. Thirty key determinants of physical
and mental health were identified from a review of literature and
are summarized under the following four categories: behaviors of
men and boys; health-related beliefs and the expression of
emotions and physical distress; biological, socioeconomic,
cultural, and environmental factors; and health care. The findings
reported in this review suggest that men’s greatest health risks are
the result of modifiable factors, and that efforts to address these
factors through practice, policy, and research could contribute to
enhanced health conditions for men and boys, as well as to
healthier families and communities.

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