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Southern men wanted to unlock health mystery

Tuesday 28 January 2020 10:27am

David Baxter image
Professor David Baxter

Ageing Kiwi men have worse health and are dying sooner than women. Now a new University of Otago study is being launched to talk to the country’s southern men in an attempt to understand why.

The study’s principal investigator, Professor David Baxter of the University of Otago School of Physiotherapy, says men in New Zealand do not enjoy the same level of health and wellbeing as women. Women live an average 3–4 years longer than men, while men generally experience a higher incidence of and mortality from major diseases.

Yet men’s health is often ignored in health research, relative to research in women's health, Professor Baxter says.

“It’s a conundrum. In New Zealand, men have a lower life expectancy and health status than women, yet we take an ad-hoc approach to men’s health with no strategy or policies to address these health inequalities.

Hui Xiao image
Mr Hui Xiao

“So this project aims to increase our understanding of factors associated with ageing well for men 45 years and over in Otago and Southland.”

The research project will be carried out by Hui Xiao as part of his PhD studies. Mr Xiao, who is a PhD student at the School of Physiotherapy, says participants will be placed into focus groups of between 6–10 men, meeting in in Dunedin, Invercargill and Alexandra.

From there they will spend about an hour discussing health-related questions developed by the research team.

Questions will touch on issues like diet, smoking, alcohol, exercise, and the benefits of social interactions.

“The information gained will contribute to our understanding of factors associated with ageing well for men,” Mr Xiao says.

Participant information

  • Eligible men will need to be 45 or older, living in Otago or Southland, and able to communicate in English or Mandarin. Participants will receive a NZD$20 voucher following their involvement.
  • Men interested in volunteering can make contact via:
    Tel 0800 687 489

For more information, contact:

Professor David Baxter
Centre for Men’s Health
Tel +64 3 479 7411

Hui Xiao
PhD candidate
University of Otago School of Physiotherapy

Craig Borley
Communications Adviser (Division of Health Sciences)
Mob +64 21 279 4144