Men have shorter life expectancy than women in most nations around the world. The primary reason is genetic, cultural, and lifestyle differences. These differences lead to the following male health concerns: heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease, and stroke.
Five Common Health Threats in Men
Male Health Concerns and Health Risks
It is a common but sad fact that men die at a higher rate than women. Several factors contribute to the decline in male health, often associated with lifestyle habits.
On average, men tend to pay less attention to their health than the average woman does. Also, men are more likely to:
- use tobacco and drink alcohol
- make risky choices
- avoid seeing a doctor for regular diagnosis
These lifestyle differences lead to the most common causes of death among adult men in the U.S.
1. Heart Diseases
Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women in the United States. One in four adult men has some form of heart disease, according to a 2017 statistical fact sheet by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Heart disease is a broader term used to refer to a wide range of cardiovascular issues. These include:
- Arrhythmia, a heart rhythm abnormality where the heart can beat too fast, too slowly, or with an irregular rhythm.
- Atherosclerosis refers to the buildup of substances such as cholesterol and fats around your artery wall that restrict blood flow.
- Cardiomyopathy is a condition wherein it is harder for your heart to pump blood to the rest of your body.
- Congenital heart defects are the most common birth problem that refers to the irregularity in the heart’s structure.
- Heart infections are a serious heart condition caused by bacteria, viruses, and, rarely, fungi.
The symptoms of heart disease may depend on its type. However, even if you are not feeling any symptoms, you may still be at risk for heart disease.
Men have higher rates of getting and dying from cancer than women. Cancer refers to any one of a large number of diseases characterized by the rapid growth and development of abnormal cells that infiltrate and destroy healthy body tissue.
The three most common types of cancers among men are:
- Colorectal Cancer (CRC) is also known as rectal cancer, colon cancer, or bowel cancer. CRC develops from the colon or rectum and shows signs and symptoms that may include a change in bowel movements, blood in the stool, fatigue, and weight loss.
- Lung Cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Lung cancer can occur to smokers and non-smokers, although smokers are at a higher risk.
- Prostate Cancer develops in the prostate, a gland that produces seminal fluid that nourishes and transports sperm.
You can lower your chances of getting cancer by staying up-to-date on screening tests and making healthy choices.
3. Unintentional Injuries
The CDC lists unintentional injuries as the third among the leading causes of death in males in 2017.
Some of the most common types of unintentional injuries in the United States include the following:
- balls and sports
- motor vehicle accidents
- recreational activities
4. Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease
Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease (CLRD) comprises three diseases: emphysema, asthma, and chronic bronchitis. CLRD is currently the fourth leading cause of death in the United States,
The most significant risk factor for chronic bronchitis and emphysema is tobacco smoking, accounting for about 80% of all cases. According to the American Lung Association, tobacco smokers are ten times more likely to die of COPD than people who do not smoke.
A stroke occurs when the brain tissues do not get oxygen and nutrients because of the interrupted blood supply. When a stroke happens, brain cells begin to die in minutes, causing life-long effects such as brain damage.
Symptoms of stroke include:
- Weakness or numbness of the arm, leg, or face and on one side of the body.
- Loss of vision or dimming in one eye or both.
- Loss of speech, difficulty talking,
- Difficulty understanding what others are saying.
Stroke is also a leading cause of long-term disability. Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in men, killing almost the same number of men each year as prostate cancer and dementia combined.
Other common male health concerns and risks include diabetes, Alzheimer’s, suicide, influenza and pneumonia, and chronic liver disease.
You can prevent top male health concerns through lifestyle changes and healthier habits. You can do several things to lower the chances of acquiring these conditions:
- Avoid smoking. Tobacco is associated with several male health concerns like cancer and chronic lower respiratory diseases. If you are a smoker, ask your doctor to help you quit smoking.
People who do not smoke should also avoid exposure to second-hand smoke, harmful chemicals, and pollution.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet. Choose to have a balanced and gut-friendly diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, high-fiber foods, lean sources of protein, and probiotics. Try to limit sodium, sugar, and unhealthy fats.
- Get moving. Exercise can help you manage your weight, shred off some if needed, lower your risk of heart disease and stroke, and possibly lower your risk of certain types of cancer. Choose activities that fit your lifestyle.
- Drink alcohol in moderation. If you are 65 years or younger, limit your alcohol consumption to up to two drinks a day and one drink a day if you are 65 and up.
An increased amount of alcohol and time drinking is associated with a higher risk of some types of cancer, such as liver cancer. Over-consumption of alcohol can also raise your blood pressure and increase your risk of stroke and heart attack.
- Manage stress. Stress is a normal part of life. However, too much stress can have negative consequences on your mental and physical health. Take steps to reduce stress — or learn to deal with stress in healthy ways such as meditation.
Do Not Shy Away From a Doctor
Just like a car or a house that requires tuning, you also need routine diagnostics and screening tests. One of the reasons men have a higher health risk rate is because men tend not to see a doctor for regular checkups.
Visiting your doctor for routine checkups may help optimize your health and address your health concerns before they get worse. Opt health is a telemedicine platform that aims to reconnect men with wellness, strength, and sexual vitality through the science of preventive medicine.
For questions, inquiries, or appointments, do not hesitate to contact us. Get personalized support and insight from top-tier physicians available for you 24/7.