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Media Fact Sheet on the proposed Office of Men's Health at the Department of Health and Human Services

Senator (R-ID) and Representative (R-NY) have introduced the Men's Health Act of 2006. The Men's Health Act of 2006 will establish an Office of Men's Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This office will mirror the work of the existing Office of Women's Health, which has helped to save thousands of women's lives and has improved the lives of many more. 

Why is an Office of Men's Health Needed?

There is an ongoing, increasing and predominantly silent crisis in the health and well-being of American men. Due to a lack of awareness, poor health education, and a paucity of male-specific health programs, men's health and well-being are deteriorating steadily. The deterioration of men's health is best illustrated by the life-expectancy gap. In 1920, the life expectancy difference between men and women was one year but by 1990 that had increased to seven years with men having a higher death rate for each of the top 10 leading causes of death.

There is a need for an Office on Men's Health to develop strategies, coordinate research activities, recommend public policies, engage in public-private partnerships, and take other actions that will encourage men to engage in healthy lifestyles, promote awareness of and early detection of diseases that adversely affect men, and search for answers to the perplexing problem of the deteriorating condition of men's health.

Health Facts

In 1920, women lived, on average, one year longer than men. Now, men, on average, die almost six years earlier than women, and are more likely to become victims of many conditions such as cancer, stroke, heart disease, depression, and suicide. For details, read:

The Office of Women's Health, established in 1991, has helped to improve the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of women.

Age-adjusted deaths per 100,000 (Source: Dr David H. Gremillion, MD, FACP)

Males are at higher risk from most causes of injury and are disproportionately represented in the deaths that may result. Between the ages of 15 and 19 years, males are about 2.5 times more likely to die of any unintentional injury, five times more likely to die of homicide or suicide, and 10.6 times more likely to die from drowning. (Source: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control,

Prostate Cancer makes up 37% of all cancer cases yet receives only 5% of research funding. (Source NPCC)

Expenditures for Cancer Research by the National Cancer Institute in the Year 2000 (source NPCC):

Breast Cancer: $424,900,000
Prostate Cancer: $190,000,000

Expenditures for outreach and screening at CDC (2000):

Breast and Cervical Cancer program: ±$185,000,000
Prostate Cancer program (no screening): ±$11,000,000

A Government Accounting Office analysis of gender specific research funding at NIH indicates that spending on conditions that affect females exceeds the spending on conditions that affect males. (Source: GAO Report HEHS-00-96)

The life expectancy for females exceeds that of males.
Life Expectancy At Birth, 2020
Source: National Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 53, No. 6, November 10, 2004

Classification Life Expectancy
White females 80.3
Black Females 75.6
White Males 75.1
Black Males 68.8



Cause             Men      Women
Heart Disease  297.4        197.2
Cancer            238.9        163.1
Injuries              51.5         23.5
Stroke               28.5        24.6
HIV                     7.4         2.5
Suicide              18.4         4.2

Read more about health disparities:

Advantages of a Gender Specific Health Office

The advancements in women's health can be attributed to the proliferation of women's health offices in the various agencies. A cursory sampling finds the following:

HHS - Office of Women's Health

OWH Mission

To improve the health of women across the life-span by directing, developing, stimulating, and coordinating women's health research, health care services, and public and health professional education and training across the agencies and offices of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); and with other government agencies, public and private organizations, and consumer and health care professional groups.

NIH - Office of Research on Women's Health


Office of Research on Women's Health
National Institutes of Health

The Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH) serves as a focal point for women's health research at the NIH. The ORWH promotes, stimulates, and supports efforts to improve the health of women through biomedical and behavioral research. ORWH works in partnership with the NIH institutes and centers to ensure that women's health research is part of the scientific framework at NIH and throughout the scientific community.

NCI - Office of Women's Health
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute - Women's Health Initiative
CDC - Office of Women's Health
FDA - Office of Women's Health
HRSA - Office of Women's Health

For further information, please contact:

Men's Health Network
P.O. Box 75972
Washington D.C. 20013
202-543-MHN1 (6461)

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