It has been found in a relevant survey of 2003 that “of the male patients, 17.7% were under 15 years of age while only 12.6% of females were in this age group. male patients were less likely to be aged between 15 and 44 years (33.0%) compared to females (39.4%). however, male patients were more likely to be aged 45-74 years (38.3%) than females (35.3%)” (Male Consultations in General Practice in Australia, 2003). The above findings lead to the assumption that there are significant differences between men and women regarding their health experiences.
It is necessary for this context to investigate the most significant social factors that have caused these differences.A primary reason for the existence of differentiation between men and women in relation to their health experiences is the level of obesity in these two groups, which presents different percentages. More specifically, in accordance with the statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2006: referring to a National Survey conducted in 2004-2005): “when body mass index was calculated from reported height and weight, 62% of men and 45% of women were classified in the overweight or obese groups. however, only 32% of men and 37% of women assessed themselves as being overweight”.
It can be assumed by the above findings that men tend to be overweight more than women and this issue can be related to their health problems mostly in the ages between 45 and 74 years (during which men in accordance with the statistics presented above present increased percentages of health problems). Another significant factor in the differentiation between men and women regarding health problems is alcohol. Regarding this issue, it has been revealed in the National Survey of 2004-2005 that the percentage of men having consumed alcohol in the week prior to the interview was 71%, a significant difference from the similar percentage of women which reached the 54%.
Until now it has been proved by empirical research that men present greater trends for obesity and alcohol consumption. These trends can influence the percentages of health problems that appeared in men.