Men’s 5 Greatest Health Concerns and Issues

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Men's Top Health Concerns and Issues

Men’s 5 Greatest

Health Concerns and Issues

Based on an article by Dulce Zamora WebMD Feature

(Healingtalks) Men die at higher rates than women for most major causes of death. Why don’t men take better care of their health? One could accept such statistics as just another difference between men and women, but the stakes are too high to remain complacent and let it be.

Men vs. Women Health Statistics

The Men’s Health Network (MHN) reports that men die at higher rates than women from the top 10 causes of death including heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, accidents, pneumonia and influenza, diabetes, suicide, kidney disease, and chronic liver disease and cirrhosis.

Men also die younger than women. In 1920, women outlived men only by one year. Today, CDC figures show the life expectancy gap has widened: On average, women survive men by over five years.

Many of the top 10 causes of death are preventable, and can be treated, if found early. To help men better their health, WebMD examined the risk factors for five of the biggest killers of men: heart disease, stroke, suicide, prostate cancer, and lung cancer. We asked the experts why men were so vulnerable to these ailments and what they could do to reduce their risk of disease and death.

Heart Disease in Men

Although heart disease is the leading killer of both men and women, almost twice as many males die of conditions that affect the cardiovascular system, the MHN reports.

According to the CDC, one in four men has some form of heart disease. It is the leading cause of death.

Average annual rates of the first heart disease complication rises from seven per 1,000 men at ages 35-44 to 68 per 1,000 at ages 85-94. For women, similar rates occur but they happen about 10 years later in life. The average age of a person having a first heart attack is 65.8 for men and 70.4 for women.

For men, heart disease begins to manifest itself about 10 years earlier than women. This does not mean men have a free pass against heart disease until they’re older. Men have a shorter time to prevent the development of the condition so their overall risk is greater.

Risk factors for heart disease include:

  • Increasing age
  • Male sex
  • Family history and race.Folks with family history of the disease have greater risk. So do African-Americans, Mexican Americans,
  • Native Americans, Native Hawaiians, and some Asian Americans.
  • Smoking
  • High blood cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity and overweight
  • Diabetes

Some things, such as your age and sex, obviously cannot be controlled, but modifying lifestyle to eat right and exercise can reduce your risk of heart disease.

Stroke Risk for Men

Stroke is the third leading killer in the country, after heart disease and all forms of cancer. The incidence rate of stroke is 1.25 times greater in men than in women, although there is really no difference between the sexes as people get older. We know that a very important risk factor for stroke is hypertension. The control of hypertension is a crucial factor to try to prevent the onset of stroke.

Other risk factors include:

  • Increasing age
  • Race. African-Americans have the greater risk than whites.
  • Gender. Stroke is more common in men than in women until age 75.
  • Personal history of stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA, or ministroke)
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Smoking, including secondhand smoke
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity
  • Alcohol and substance abuse

In many ways, behaviors that can reduce the risk of stroke mirror those that can reduce risk of heart disease. We need to recognize that a healthy lifestyle — dietary factors and exercise — reduces the risk of people getting hypertension at all.

Suicide and Depression in Men

Men are four times more likely to commit suicide compared to women. Men may be more prone to suicide because they’re less likely to openly show depression to get help. Apparently more than 6 million men have depression each year. The number of males with depression could be even greater since men may show signs of depression in a manner different from many women.

Instead of sadness, depression may play out in the following ways in men:

  • Anger
  • Aggression
  • Work “burnout”
  • Risk-taking behavior
  • Midlife crisis
  • Alcohol and substance abuse

To help men with depression and to reduce the risk of suicide, doctors, loved ones, and men themselves need to recognize that society’s model of masculinity — to ignore pain –can work against men. Looking the other way may trigger depression and thoughts of suicide.

Lung Cancer In Men

Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of both men and women, claiming more lives than prostate, colon, and breast cancer combined. In men, there are expected to be about 213, 380 new cases of lung cancer and some 160,390 lung cancer deaths this year.

The good news is that rate of new lung cancer cases has been dropping since the 1980s, and deaths from the cancer have fallen since the 1990s. This is because of the drop in the prevalence of the use of tobacco products by men that followed the Surgeon General’s report in 1964.

Besides smoking, we can consider the following further risk factors for lung cancer:

  • Exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Exposure to asbestos or radon
  • Personal history
  • Air pollution

Tobacco products are responsible for 90% of lung cancer, which puts the weight of prevention efforts on smoking cessation. According to the National Institute on Aging, as soon as you stop smoking, your chances of getting cancer from smoking begins to shrink, and you can prevent further damage to your lungs.

Men’s Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer found in men. It is the second leading type of cancer death in men, after lung cancer.

Other risk factors include:

  • Increasing age
  • Nationality. The cancer is most common in North America and Northwestern Europe.
  • High-fat diet. Men who eat a lot of red meat and high-fat dairy products and not enough fruits and vegetables may have a higher risk.

Although older age is a risk factor for prostate cancer, younger men should not be complacent. Thirty percent of prostate cancers occur in men under age 65. The younger a man is, the more aggressive the tumor generally is. What conventional medicine also does not recognize is that our devitalized standard American diet guarantees that by age 50-65 major health breakdowns begin to occur, and the prostrate gland often leads the way with inflammations.

Keywords: men’s health problems, men’s health, male health, diseases in men, men’s health conditions, men’s 5 top health concerns

Video on the basic principles of natural healing that all men can apply:

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