Women 'more likely to report ill health than men'
Women are more likely than men to complain about their health even when they are in better shape, according to government statistics.
UK researchers looked at links between how healthy people thought they were, and their death rate.
They found women were more likely than men to say they were in poor health, but less likely to die over the following 5 years.
Doctors are concerned about men's apparent lack of awareness of health.
The analysis used data from three studies across England and Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.
It looked at how those aged 35-74 at the time of the 2001 Census rated their health, and their mortality from 2001 to 2006.
It found there was generally a strong association between those reporting that their health was only poor or fair, and subsequent deaths.
Women were more likely to report poorer health than men, but this was not reflected in subsequent mortality rates.
Doctors and campaigners are concerned about men's apparent lack of awareness about health problems and reluctance to go to the doctor.
Commenting on the study, Steve Field, Chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, said women are better at disclosing how they feel about their health.
Steps should be taken to encourage men to report health problems earlier, he said.
"The message for the health system is that it should try harder to make it easier for men to access healthcare through suitable hours, venues and phone or computer consultations.
"If men have got concerns about their health, they should come and talk to their GP," he added.
Peter Baker, Chief Executive of the Men's Health Forum, said the findings were consistent with previous research which showed men are less likely than women to acknowledge health problems to themselves or others.
He pointed out that studies have shown that men who develop diseases like cancer and diabetes tend to be diagnosed later than women.
Mr Baker said: "Men are less aware of their symptoms than women, and are more reluctant to seek help.
"They delay going to the doctor which means their symptoms are more advanced and harder to treat.
"This is extremely worrying. Forty percent of men die before the age of 75."