Although women are catching up, men still have higher rates of smoking and drinking which makes them more susceptible to certain diseases.
According to the American Heart Association, 33% of all men have some sort of heart disease. High blood pressure is becoming more common in younger men and nearly 3 million men experience stroke annually. It is important to exercise and eat a heart healthy diet, and have your blood pressure and lipid profile checked every year to help prevent this number one killer.
Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Men are diagnosed with lung cancer more commonly than women, and certain exposures at work including asbestos, further contribute to the stats. While there are no effective screening tests available, the best way to prevent lung cancer is through smoking cessation.
While a glass of red wine daily has helpful antioxidants, over drinking is linked to increased risks of certain cancers including mouth, throat, esophagus, liver and colon cancers. For men who are trying to get their partner pregnant, excessive alcohol can decrease testosterone production and interfere with sperm production as well.
Men usually avoid the signs and symptoms of depression, including lack of interest, low energy, irritability and change in sleep patterns. Low testosterone may also mimic depression in men. Although the rate of suicide attempts is higher in women, the rate of successful suicides is higher in men.
After heart disease and cancer, injuries and accidents is the 3rd leading cause of men according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Diabetes can lead to impotence, testosterone deficiency, heart disease and is the number one cause of kidney failure in the US. Keeping your weight under control and getting routine check-ups is important to help minimize the negative effects associated with this disease.
Men over the age of 50 have the highest risk of skin cancer, not only because of life long sun exposure, but also, because historically, men do not visit their doctors as regularly as women do. At the Los Angeles Men’s Health Center, we incorporated a skin exam for our initial visit for all men 50 and older.
New cases of HIV infection are increasing in gay men, especially those between the ages of 13-29.
Because men are more likely to have other health risks, the common flu can be more life threatening. The CDC recommends flu shots for all men over the age of 65.
Due to higher levels of alcohol and drug abuse, men are more likely to develop liver diseases including cirrhosis and hepatitis.