Men are often seen as the physically stronger gender, however it’s commonly known that women tend to live longer than men. While there are some factors that play into a shorter lifespan in men that cannot be controlled, many common men’s health issues can be prevented. During International Men’s Health Month this June, we’re dedicated to bringing awareness of common men’s health issues and ways to reduce the risk of developing problems.
According to Healthline, the following conditions are the 10 most common health issues in men.
- Heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, 1 in 3 men have some type of heart disease. High bad cholesterol and hypertension are linked to an increased risk for heart disease or stroke.
- Respiratory disease. COPD, lung cancer, and emphysema are all diseases of the respiratory system that can eventually lead to death. The American Lung Association says that more men are diagnosed with or developing lung disease than ever before, and that smoking remains the leading cause of these conditions.
- Alcohol. Men are twice as likely to binge drink compared to women, and as a result, have a greater risk of alcohol-related hospitalization or death. Heavy alcohol consumption is linked to a greater risk of developing a number of cancers, including oral, liver, esophagus and colon cancer. Alcohol is also linked to impotence, infertility and increased aggression and sexual assault against women.
- Depression and suicide. The National Institute of Mental Health believes that the amount of men experiencing depression in the U.S. is at least 6 million. Men are more likely to commit suicide than women, and alcohol is often involved before the suicide.
- Unintentional injury and motor vehicle accidents. Drowning, traumatic brain injury and accidents related to fireworks are among the most common unintentional injuries that lead to death in men, along with driving accidents.
- Liver disease. Cirrhosis, viral hepatitis, liver cancer and alcoholic liver disease are all conditions of the liver that can lead to death. Alcohol and tobacco are linked to an increased risk for developing these conditions.
- Diabetes. As you probably know, controlling or preventing diabetes is done through a healthy diet and exercise. In direct correlation, a poor diet and lack of exercise are what often leads to the development of type II diabetes.
- The flu and pneumonia. The American Lung Association states than men are 25% more likely to die from the flu or pneumonia than women.
- Skin cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates more than 55,000 men will be diagnosed with melanoma in 2018.
- HIV/AIDs. Although new HIV/AIDS diagnoses continue to decrease in the U.S. each year, the virus still kills significantly more men than women each year.
Now that you know the issues, let’s talk about solutions and preventative measures you can take to reduce your risk of developing one of these conditions.
- Quit smoking. Smoking and tobacco use are linked to an increased risk of developing nearly all of the issues listed above, especially heart and respiratory disease. Your provider can help you quit smoking. Reach out today to finally kick this deadly habit.
- Limit or eliminate alcohol consumption. This means no more than two drinks per day for men under the age of 65, and one drink per day for men over 65.
- Eat healthy. A diet filled with fruits, veggies, lean proteins and high-fiber foods is the best way to maintain a healthy weight and keep conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes in check.
- Exercise. Exercise has been proven to lower the risk of developing certain cancers and conditions like heart disease and stroke, in addition to keeping your waistline healthy.
- Get plenty of rest. Adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each day.
- Manage stress. Stress can compromise your immune system and lead to the development of an unhealthy lifestyle. If you’re constantly feeling edgy, ask your doctor for help in reducing stress.
- Visit your doctor for regular checkups. Avoiding the doctor doesn’t make underlying health issues go away. Get a yearly checkup so your doctor can check for signs of potentially serious issues.
- Drive safely. Put the phone down, follow the rules you learned in driving class and don’t drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Practice safe sex. Using protection and abstaining from promiscuous sex greatly reduces your risk of contracting HIV and other STDs.
- Get help for depression and suicidal thoughts. If you are suicidal, seek help from your nearest emergency room or hospital, or call the National Suicide Hotline at 800-273-8255.
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For more information on men’s health issues, check out these resources: