Diabetes crisis “hitting men especially hard”

A report from the Men’s Health Forum reveals that men are more likely to develop diabetes than women and are more likely to experience life-changing or even life-ending consequences.

The Men’s Health Forum’s new report ‘One In Ten: The Male Diabetes Crisis’ shows:

  • Men are 26% more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than women – with Public Health England estimates showing that 9.6% of men have type 1 or type 2 diabetes vs. 7.6% of women.
  • One man in 10 now has diabetes.
  • Men are more likely to be overweight (BMI 25+) and to develop diabetes at a lower BMI (body mass index) than women. However, they are less likely to be aware that they are overweight or to participate in weight management programmes.
  • Men are more likely to suffer from diabetic retinopathy, foot ulcers and to have a foot amputation. 
  • Men are more likely to die, and to die prematurely, as a result of diabetes. The age-standardised mortality rate for men with an underlying cause of death as diabetes mellitus is 40% higher than it is for women.
The report emphasises how the sex inequalities have not been highlighted by health policy makers and practitioners and calls for better engagement of men in:
  • NHS Health Checks
  • Routine eye tests
  • Weight management programmes
  • Diabetes Education programmes 
The report argues that the National Diabetes Prevention Programme must be designed and delivered in ways that work for men.
Martin Tod, Chief Executive of the Men’s Health Forum, said: “Diabetes is hitting men especially hard, but too little is being done to understand the problem and tackle the problem. The Men’s Health Forum wants to see a serious programme of research and investment to ensure men get the support and care they need to prevent and manage diabetes.”
Peter Baker, Men’s Health Forum Associate and the report author, said: “The burden of the disease on men has not been fully recognised or responded to by health policymakers and practitioners. What’s now urgently needed is an approach that takes full account of sex and gender differences so that both men and women’s outcomes can be improved.”