Men’s health has lagged behind its female equivalent as a specific medical subject but, over the past decade, campaigns by men’s health groups have started to give it the prominence it deserves. This book sets out to be a comprehensive guide to many of the aspects of men’s health, an ambitious target given the broad nature of the topic.
The editor has assembled a panel of 26 authors and it is well-written and presented with high quality illustrations. The book appears to be targeted at primary care clinicians but some of the content would make interesting reading to those designing care.
The first three chapters explore the background to men’s health; including the factors that make their behaviour, risk factors, morbidity and mortality different from women. There is also an exploration of the effect of masculinity on health and a chapter on health seeking behaviour and meeting the needs of the most vulnerable men.
The middle section is about preventative medicine, including chapters on male-targeted prevention, caring for adolescent males and two chapters on ‘ideal’ well-male examinations in adults and children / adolescents. These chapters are firmly set in the US healthcare system and are based largely around the concept of an annual detailed health check both for adults and children. As a UK clinician I was surprised to see some of the recommendations: including annual blood pressures from the age of three and yearly genital examinations (partial from seven to ten and full after that). Screening is discussed based on the US guidance.
The last eight chapters of the book are on clinical topics, these are comprehensive and give practical guidance on management of topics such as lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). I particularly appreciated the chapters on testicular, scrotal and penile disorders and the controversy over testosterone replacement. The final chapter is devoted to the specific problems of men who have sex with men.
I enjoyed this book and the later chapters are a useful reference for clinicians. Unfortunately, the book and its references are US-based and this reduces the usefulness of many of the non-clinical chapters for those based elsewhere. As a result, I feel it may not represent value for money as an individual purchase but may be a worthwhile addition to a department library.