For men, understanding the side effects of certain health-related lifestyle decisions is more important than ever. At a time when poor lifestyle choices are becoming the norm, it’s critical to understand the consequences of these actions. Here we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 health concerns for men, along with ways you can avoid these conditions.
Top 5 Health Concerns
1. Heart Disease
It’s no shocker that heart disease is the leading health concern for men. It’s the main cause of death among men and women, and one in four men have some type of heart disease, according to the Center for Disease Control. On average, most men have their first encounter with a heart attack at the age of 65; for women it’s 70. But this doesn’t mean that younger men shouldn’t practice preventative measures. Family history of heart disease, smoking, high blood and cholesterol levels, diabetes, obesity, and lack of physical activity are all contributing factors to heart disease. Essentially, having a healthy heart begins with practicing a healthy lifestyle.
According to the CDC, men are 1.25 times more likely than women to have a stroke. Defined as a “blockage or rupture of a blood vessel in the brain,” one of the usual causes of a stroke is high blood pressure, also known as hypertension, with the remaining contributing factors being similar to those of heart disease. Until the age of 75, men are more likely than women to experience a stroke. But once again, practicing healthy lifestyle choices at a young age is of utmost importance.
3. Lung and Prostate Cancer
Lung cancer is the leading cause of death among all cancers for both men and women, with smoking and secondhand smoke being the leading causes. Pollution and toxins also make up a minor percentage of the contributing factors, but tobacco makes up 90% of all cases. Thankfully, cases of lung cancer have decreased over the past three decades due to a reduction in the overall consumption of tobacco products. Prostate cancer, on the other hand, is the most common form of cancer found in men and the second leader in cancer-related deaths behind lung cancer. Having regular prostate screenings is the most effective maneuver in preventing this type of cancer, and young men definitely shouldn’t feel invulnerable to prostate cancer; thirty percent of all cases occur in men younger than 65. Ultimately, having regular check-ups and making healthy choices are two of the most important decisions to make in order to avoid cancer.
It may not sound as life-threatening or severe as cancer, stroke, or heart disease, but depression and its effects are a leading cause of death among men. For example, men are four times more likely to commit suicide than women, with rates reaching their highest when men are in their 20s, 60s, and 70s. Interestingly, the contributing factors for suicide are much different than the other health concerns, with more emphasis being placed on mental and social health than physical wellbeing. Suicide is more prevalent in men who are unemployed or socially sequestered, so that’s why seeking help for depression is so vital. The varying social, fiscal, and familial pressures on men, in connection with their changing roles in society, have major impacts on their mental wellbeing, as well.
5. Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is the disease that keeps on growing: it has been growing at a rapid pace for the last few years, with 8% of Americans being diagnosed, overall. Poor diet, family history, and lack of exercise are the most likely causes of diabetes. Unlike the other health concerns listed, people don’t generally die from diabetes; they usually succumb to the consequences of it, like heart disease or kidney failure. Per the usual, type 2 diabetes can be prevented by practicing healthy lifestyle decisions. Healthy diet and plenty of exercise (3-5 times per week) are, once again, essential to the prevention of diabetes.
Understanding these health concerns for men and ways to prevent them can keep you living your best life for many years ahead.