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Former Norwich City star Darren Eadie spearheads men’s health drive with ‘down to earth advice’

PUBLISHED: 00:01 26 September 2018 | UPDATED: 06:53 26 September 2018

Former Norwich City footballer Darren Eadie is fronting up a new men's health campaign. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

Former Norwich City footballer Darren Eadie is fronting up a new men's health campaign. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

Norfolk County Council

Former Norwich City star Darren Eadie is to spearhead a new campaign which aims to get Norfolk men aged 40 to 75 to think more seriously about the state of their health.

Former Norwich City footballer Darren Eadie checks his blood pressure. Pic: Norfolk County Council.Former Norwich City footballer Darren Eadie checks his blood pressure. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

Men that age are to be targeted in the new public health campaign, amid concerns over their mental health, the rate of suicide, high blood pressure, smoking, drinking, diabetes and prevalence of cancer.

But public health bosses at Norfolk County Council say they are a difficult group to get through to, which is why they have enlisted the aid of Eadie, who played for the Canaries more than 200 times, to front the 10-month ‘ManKind’ campaign.

He will talk about a range of health problems, undergo various medical checks and meet people who have been affected by some of the issues which the campaign aims to tackle.

He said: “When I was a professional footballer, I always took my health for granted. It was something I never had to worry about.

“Now I’m a bit older it’s time to admit that I’m not as healthy as I used to be. Hopefully I can encourage men in Norfolk to make small changes to improve their health, even things as simple as getting checked out at the docs.”

Former Norwich City footballer Darren Eadie. Pic: Norfolk County Council.Former Norwich City footballer Darren Eadie. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

The campaign’s main focuses will be over areas in which Norfolk is not performing as well as it could, chiefly:

• Blood pressure

• Smoking

• Exercise and diet

• Cancer awareness

• Suicide and mental health

Dr Louise Smith, director of public health at Norfolk County Council, said: “Men are far less likely than women to visit their GP about health concerns and we don’t feel that typical public health messages are getting through as effectively as we’d like.

“We’re keen to try a new approach.

“Most Norfolk men aged 40 to 74 will recognise Darren Eadie and will hopefully listen to his straight talking, down to earth advice.”

Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s communities committee, said: “Health prospects for males aged between 40 and 74 in Norfolk are particularly poor when it comes to smoking, high blood pressure, suicide and depression as well as obesity and diabetes.

“We’re committed to doing everything we can to reduce the risk of a serious health condition later in life.”

Men’s health facts

Cardiovascular

• In Norfolk one in four 0men are unaware they suffer from high blood pressure.

• About 400 men in Norfolk will have their lives cut short by cardiovascular disease and over half of these deaths could have been prevented.

Smoking

• Men are more likely to smoke than women. 17pc men in the UK are smokers compared to 13pc of women. In our highest rates of smoking in men are in Great Yarmouth (22pc), Breckland (19.9pc) and Kings Lynn and West Norfolk (18.9pc).

Mental Health

• 12.5 people per 100,000 take their own lives in Norfolk which is the highest area in the East of England.

• Suicide is the biggest killer in men under the age of 50.

• Suicide is much more prevalent amongst men compared to women. Three out of every four suicides are male and being male is an independent risk factor for suicide.

• Men aged 45 to 59 have the lowest levels of life satisfaction of all age groups.

• Men are less likely to access talking therapies than women only 36pc of referrals to wellbeing services (cognitive behaviour therapy, one to one and group counselling etc).

• People can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org

Obesity and Diabetes

• 4,000 males in Norfolk are obese, 15,000 are these are aged 55-64.

• In 2015 in the UK 68pc of men are overweight or obese nationally compared to 58pc of women. Peak age of male obesity 55- 64 years old.

• Only 24pc of men get their ‘five a day’.

• 56pc of all diabetics in the UK are male and again highest prevalence in low income house holds

• Men who have diabetes are twice as likely to suffer secondary complications from it, such as peripheral vascular disease, Diabetic retinopathy, diabetic nephropathy.

Alcohol

• Men are more likely to drink than women. In 2018 NOS survey 61.9pc men compared with 52.4pc women had drunk in the previous week.

• 28.7pc of men binge drank compared with 25.6pc of women.

• Unlike smoking and obesity it is actually men in managerial positions or in higher socioeconomic bands that drink the most

• 67pc of all alcohol related deaths are men and of those deaths 82pc are due to alcoholic liver disease.

• In Norfolk there were 18.1 premature male deaths per 100,00 from 2014 – 2016 from liver disease. Of these 16.3 could have been prevented. Obviously Alcohol isn’t the only cause of these deaths but does hugely contribute.

• In Norfolk the highest number of alcohol related prescriptions are in Great Yarmouth and Waveney, Kings Lynn and West Norfolk and Norwich all generating 350 to 1,410 prescriptions per 100,000 people in Norfolk.

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