Background and objective: This study aims to examine men’s health-seeking behavior and likelihood to suffer from acute diseases compared to women.
Material and methods: We used the Indonesian National Health Insurance Agency for the period of 2015 and 2016 to obtain information about transactions in primary health facilities. We analyzed the data using negative binomial regression and logistic regression. The incidence rate ratio of health-seeking frequency and the odds ratio of men (compared to women) suffering from infectious diseases (i.e., acute upper respiratory infection; the number one acute disease in Indonesia), top three diagnoses, and non-communicable disease (i.e., mental illness) were assessed. Other sociodemographic variables i.e., age, marital status, and the source of National Health Insurance funding were also analyzed.
Results: This study found that adolescent males visited primary health facilities the least often compared to all age groups and were among the top three age groups of men who were most likely to suffer from acute and mental illnesses. Low-income and divorced, self-employed and married, and employed and divorced adolescent men were in the high-risk category of suffering from acute illness; on the other hand, adolescent men who were married and poor were in the high-risk category of suffering from mental illness. This study also found that young men were suffering from acute disease and mental illness, which is worrying for a developing country such as Indonesia.
Conclusion: Urgent interventions should be considered moving forward. The findings of this study suggest that men who marry at a young age may experience negative health outcomes.