This week is International Men’s Health Week (IMHW) and an opportunity to highlight the importance of men’s health. IMHW was founded in 2002: representatives from six leading men’s health organisations from around the world met at the 2nd World Congress on Men’s Health in Vienna and launched the start of the annual event, aiming to increase awareness of male health issues on a global level.

Men face several health challenges in Australia and Perth Blood Institute would like to take this opportunity to provide some information for men about their risk of thrombosis-related disorders.

Higher incidence of thrombotic events is commonly associated with women which is due to reproductive risk factors (pregnancy, oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy). However, when these parameters or considerations are removed, male’s risk for first venous thromboembolism (VTE) was twice as high compared to women. An observational study also found a higher recurrence risk for men <50 years than females.

Recent research found some curious and difficult to explain outcomes from their investigations – more than secondary school education was associated with an increased risk of first occurrence of VTE in men; however, men with hypertension had a lower risk of future VTE compared with women. As men are predominantly taller than women, another theory for a higher risk of thrombosis in males is height, approx. ≥170cm (however tall women were also at a higher risk). It is unclear why this could increase risk in men, however it hypothesised that stasis and more venous valves due to longer legs may be a reason. The health condition atrial fibrillation (AF) could also be an influencing consideration to men’s increase risk. AF is a heart condition associated with VTE, and men have shown to develop AF 10 years earlier than women.

With relevance to COVID-19, research has emerged regarding males having a higher risk for morbidity and mortality (30-40%) associated with COVID-19 compared to women. Study findings suggest the higher COVID-19 mortality rate in men may be significantly accounted for by the elevated risk of thrombosis among this group. An observational study found that COVID-19 male patients had a 35.8% higher rate of receiving a thrombotic diagnosis than females. Similar findings from other research found that during hospitalisation, men also more often developed thrombosis than women.

This data demonstrates the importance for men to understand their own bodies and health, and to be aware of any changes and associated risk factors.


  • International Men’s Health Week – Men’s Health Month (
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