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Wilson: men are dying too young

Men are five times more likely to be killed by homicide in Bermuda than the average from 44 developed countries, according to a new report.

The statistic emerged this afternoon as Minister of Health Kim Wilson launched the second edition of Health in Review.

The report compares Bermuda's healthcare system indicators with those in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries.

It also showed men are three times more likely to die in transport incidents in Bermuda than the average.

However, road traffic related death in women in Bermuda was the lowest of all 44 countries reported.

Life expectancy from birth in Bermuda was higher than average — the average across OECD countries reached 80.6 years but in Bermuda it is 81.1 years, higher than the United States and Britain, but lower than Canada and Portugal.

Male life expectancy at birth is lower than females in Bermuda — for females the average is 84.9 years but for males it is 77.3 years.

Ms Wilson said: “What has stuck out to me is that, as in many other countries, men's health needs to be improved. Men are dying more often from certain conditions than women, dying younger from external causes, and have a lower life expectancy rate. This is something of concern to all of us.”

Ms Wilson mentioned her ministry's free health screenings for men in collaboration with the Bermuda Cancer and Health Centre was among the initiatives to address the concerns.

“This initiative and Movember are things that we can all be doing in our community to promote men's health,” she said.

The report in its entirety highlights trends in health status, social determinants of health, the health workforce, healthcare activities, quality, access and health expenditure and financing.

Other key findings include that Bermuda has the worst obesity and overweight percentage of all of the OECD countries. Some 70 per cent of women and 79 per cent of men are either overweight of obese. Ms Wilson said the Ministry of Health is creating a national strategy to deal with what she described as a “public health crisis” and the government will be holding a symposium on halting the rise in diabetes and obesity in January 2018. Bermuda's diabetes related major lower extremity amputation rate is almost twice as high as the OECD average. Bermuda is only exceeded by Israel, Slovenia and Malta.

Ms Wilson said: “Some 13 per cent of the population has diabetes which is the second highest in all of the OECD with only Mexico with a higher prevalence. Hospital admissions for diabetes on the other hand are decreasing which implies that those with the condition are getting better care but the admission rate is still higher than the average.”

Only 10 per cent of the population smoke daily — one of the lowest rates in the OECD.

Heart disease and stroke mortality is decreasing while our length of stay in the hospital post heart attack is five days compared to ten in 2007.

Ms Wilson added: “As the population ages and the birth rate stagnates this has implications on dependency ratios and therefore will have an economic impact not least of which on the cost of healthcare.”

Click here to see the full report: HealthInReview

Minister of Health Kim Wilson

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Published November 16, 2017 at 4:02 pm (Updated November 16, 2017 at 6:44 pm)

Wilson: men are dying too young

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