'Men more at risk than women to die early for alcohol abuse'

The report showed that 630,000 men of working age die every year compared with 300,000 female deaths in this age group across the European Union countries.
For the study, the summary of which was launched in the European Parliament last week, researchers in particular looked at the effect of alcohol, drug use and sexual behaviour on premature death.

They found that across Europe 63 per cent of men had smoked at some point compared to 45 per cent of women. It is estimated around one in seven deaths in the EU could be attributed to the habit, the Daily Mail reported.

Men are also more likely to abuse drink and drugs than women. In 23 out of 31 countries the male death rate from chronic liver disease is at least double that of women.
The researchers also found that 82 per cent of heroin overdoses occur in men.

Lead author Professor Alan White of Leeds Metropolitan University, said: "For the first time we have a clear picture of men's health across the EU. "Previously we had a series of partial pictures by country or disease area. This now brings it all together so that policy-makers at all levels across Europe can see exactly what they're dealing with and learn from each other."

Co-author Dr Richard de Visser of the University of Sussex said: "Lifestyles are not simply the product of individual choice. Those who are in poor material and social conditions eat less healthily, exercise less and are more likely to smoke or misuse drugs."

"In the context of addressing premature mortality among men, there is a growing awareness of the need for lifestyle modification in early life among men engaged in damaging health behaviours," he added.

The full report with a national breakdown of figures will be published later this year. The EU-commissioned report brings together official data from across all major disease areas from cancer and heart disease to mental health.

Men are dying prematurely but the rates at which they do this vary enormously from country to country. While men in Iceland can expect to live to 80, Latvian men have a life expectancy of 66 years.

President of the European Men's Health Forum Dr Ian Banks said: "This is not just about health. Premature male death undermines the economy, undermines families, undermines women and their health and undermines our social security and health services. "Europe will have far fewer men of working age in the years to come so if we're to succeed economically we need them to be in decent health."

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