HEALTH chiefs are hoping to set up a new support group in a bid to raise male life expectancy on Wearside.
NHS South of Tyne and Wear is looking to establish a Men’s Health Network to help make men more aware of illness and other issues.
Men aged over 40 are being encouraged to get involved in the initiative, with 15 already recruited.
Yusuf Meah, promoting health practitioner for Sunderland at NHS South of Tyne and Wear, which covers Sunderland Teaching Primary Care Trust (TPCT), explained the reasons behind creating the network.
He said: “Men in Sunderland have a lower life expectancy than the national average – 75.9 compared to 78.3 nationally.
“There are also unnecessary differences in life expectancy locally – a man in Washington South, for example, can expect to live until 83.7, whereas a Hendon man’s average life expectancy is 14 years lower at just 69.7.
“Many of these premature deaths could be prevented – whether that be through making lifestyle changes such as losing weight, doing more exercise or stopping smoking – or by simply being more aware of the symptoms of certain conditions and visiting the doctor at an early stage.
“The network will look at all of the above and act as a forum for discussion and support.”
Those wanting to join the network will be able to visit regular meetings across the city.
Advice from health professionals, on-the-spot checks and assessments will be available to determine how at risk men are of developing conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.
Guest speakers will give presentations on specific conditions and services.
The network has the support of the Echo’s Tackling Men’s Health campaign, which is helping men to be more aware of the dangers of an unhealthy lifestyle.
Those interested in joining the network should call Yusuf on 529 7202 or email firstname.lastname@example.org