The social determinants of health have a disproportionate impact on mortality in men. A study into the state of health of the male population in Leeds was undertaken to guide public health commissioning decisions. This paper reports on the data relating to the social lives of men.
A cross-sectional study was undertaken, comprising descriptive analysis of data relating to educational attainment, housing, employment (including benefit claimants), marital status and relationships. Data was considered for the whole city and localised at the Middle Super Output Area (MSOA) level and mapped against the Index of Deprivation.
Boys’ educational attainment was found to be lagging behind girls’ from their earliest assessments (Early Years Foundation Stage Profile, 46% vs. 60%, P = 0.00) to GCSEs (53% vs. 63%, P = 0.00), leaving many men with no qualifications. There were 68% more men than women identified as being unemployed, with more men claiming benefits. Men living in social housing are more likely to be housed in high-rise flats. Almost 50% of men aged 16–64 are single, with 2254 lone fathers.
There appears to be a lack of sex/gender analysis of current cross city data. In areas of deprivation a complex picture of multiple social problems emerges, with marked gender differences in the social determinants of health, with males seeming to be more negatively affected. There is a need for more focused planning for reaching out and targeting boys and men in the most deprived inner city areas, so that greater efficiency in service delivery can be obtained.