Stronger focus needed on gender-specific health

June 13, 2012, University of Adelaide
The provision of health services specifically to men is critical, according to Professor Gary Wittert. Photo by Shutterstock.

There is growing evidence of the need for a separate approach to men's and women's health, according to a men's health expert at the University of Adelaide.

Professor Gary Wittert, from the University's School of Medicine, has been appointed the new Director of the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men's Health, starting on 1 July.

Speaking during Men's Health Week (11-17 June), Professor Wittert says: "The provision of health services specifically to men, especially preventative health services, is critical. It is very important to have a gender-specific approach to healthcare.

"It is incorrect to assume that men are not interested in their health, but as we need to better understand how to engage with men," he says.

"There is a common misconception that men's health relates only to sexual or lower urinary tract issues. In reality there are significant biological and behavioural differences between men and women that result in susceptibility to and prevalence of a wide range of diseases. These demand specific approaches to both treatment and prevention," Professor Wittert says.

The Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men's Health - a joint venture between the University of Adelaide and the Freemasons Foundation - is dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of men through innovative scientific and medical research.

Established in 2007, the Centre was the first of its kind to take a comprehensive, to men's . Research areas include male ageing, obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, , male androgens (hormones), , and mental health.

"Significant advances have already been made by the Centre's researchers in understanding: the biology of prostate cancer; how men engage with the and use health services; the links between obesity and sexual and lower in men; and the benefits of weight loss in improving and preventing these common disorders," says Professor Wittert, who over the past 18 years has secured more than $19.5 million in competitive research funding for studies into obesity and men's health.

Professor Wittert will succeed Professor Villis Marshall AC, General Manager of the Royal Adelaide Hospital, who has been the inaugural Director of the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men's Health for the past five years.

"Professor Marshall has made an immense contribution to men's health through first establishing and then consolidating the success of the Centre," says Mr Robert Clyne, Executive Director of the Freemasons Foundation. "We look forward to further building on our success under Professor Wittert's leadership."

Professor Wittert is currently in the United States to attend the Endocrine Society's annual meeting.

Explore further: Weight loss improves sexual health of overweight men with diabetes

Related Stories

Weight loss improves sexual health of overweight men with diabetes

August 5, 2011
A new study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine reveals that in obese men with type 2 diabetes, weight loss improves erectile function, sexual desire and lowers urinary tract symptoms.

Sexual orientation affects cancer survivorship

May 9, 2011
Gay men have a higher prevalence of cancer compared with heterosexual men, and lesbian and bisexual female cancer survivors report lower levels of health than heterosexual female cancer survivors. Those are the conclusions ...

Study shows why underrepresented men should be included in binge eating research

October 26, 2011
Binge eating is a disorder which affects both men and women, yet men remain underrepresented in research. A new study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders has found that the medical impact of the disorder ...

Recommended for you

Air pollution may shorten telomeres in newborns

January 24, 2018
A study conducted before and after the 2004 closure of a coal-burning power plant in Tongliang, China, found children born before the closure had shorter telomeres than those conceived and born after the plant stopped polluting ...

Number of older people with four or more diseases will double by 2035, say researchers

January 23, 2018
A study published today in Age and Ageing, the scientific journal of the British Geriatrics Society, reports that the number of older people diagnosed with four or more diseases will double between 2015 and 2035. A third ...

Placental accumulation of flame retardant chemical alters serotonin production in rats

January 22, 2018
A North Carolina State University-led research team has shown a connection between exposure to a widely used flame retardant chemical mixture and disruption of normal placental function in rats, leading to altered production ...

Marijuana use does not lower chances of getting pregnant

January 22, 2018
Marijuana use—by either men or women—does not appear to lower a couple's chances of getting pregnant, according to a new study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers.

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.