Taking care of your long-term health requires knowing what issues can get in the way. Here are some top health concerns for men to look out for.
Do men really put their health first and foremost on a daily basis? Studies show that women live longer than men in most parts of the world. This may be partly due to the fact that men are prone to developing certain long-term health conditions due to genetics and lifestyle factors.
While the gender gap has closed significantly in recent years and continues to do so, what are the top health concerns for men that they should be aware of? Read on to find out.
Heart disease is at the top of the list because it's one of the most common diseases in the general population today and is responsible for one out of every four deaths in the U.S.
Coronary artery disease, also known as CAD, is the most common form of heart disease that impacts men's health today. Why is this disease so common? Much of it boils down to lifestyle factors like stress, lack of exercise, smoking, poor dietary habits, alcohol consumption, and poor sleep habits.
Besides this, men are less likely to see their healthcare providers on a regular basis. Men are more likely to visit a doctor once serious health concerns or concerns crop up, and sometimes, this is when heart disease has already taken hold.
As many as one in five adults in the U.S. smokes tobacco. Smoking tends to be more common in men than women, and is exacerbated by stress. This increases men’s risk of conditions like COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), lung cancer, and obstructive slep apnea. The best way to reduce the chance of developing any of these chronic conditions is to cut back or quit smoking.
Diabetes is one of the most common chronic health issues in Americans today. While many men make an effort to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, diabetes is still far more common in men. In fact, men are much more likely to be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes than women.
In many cases, tthis relates to where men and women tend to carry fat. Men usually carry more fat around the abdomen and vital organs (visceral fat). This type of fat increases the risk of insulin resistance, which leads to diabetes.
A stroke occurs when a burst blood vessel or blood clot interferes with blood flow to the brain, damaging the affected area of the brain. Strokes are more common in men than in women.
Some strokes are preventable by modifying specific risk factors, like smoking, stress, obesity, excess alcohol consumption, and recreational drug use.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men in the U.S. One issue with prostate cancer is that men symptoms may be subtle and ignored until they worsen, and not everyone remembers to get the necessary screening exams. If a man has a family history of cancer of any kind, this makes him susceptible to developing cancer in his lifetime. This is why regular cancer screening and knowing the symptoms to look out for are so important.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Common forms of skin cancer in men include basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Men are at higher risk for developing skin cancer than women.
But why is skin cancer so much more prevalent in men? In some cases, men are less likely to protect their skin by applying SPF or avoiding UV light. They’re also less likely to go for regular cancer screenings or seek medical attention for an abnormal skin finding.
Infertility is a condition that can affect both women and men. Male factor infertility is common and often unrecognized until a person is trying to conceive.
Data from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) suggest that 9% of men in the U.S. experience infertility. Male infertility may be related to factors such as low sperm count, azoospermia (absence of sperm in ejaculate), poor sperm motility, abnormal sperm shape (morphology), or problems with ejaculation.
Some of the causes of male infertility include:
- Genetic conditions like Klinefelter syndrome and cystic fibrosis
- Hormonal conditions such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, and low testosterone
- Immune system diseases (autoimmune disorders)
- Certain medications and supplements
- High stress levels
- Trauma to the testes
- Cancer and cancer treatments (chemotherapy, radiation)
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common condition that affects at least 12 million men in the United States. The risk of experiencing ED also increases with age. But there is good news -- it's often treatable. The chance of developing ED increases with high stress levels, diabetes, obesity, recreational drug use, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and more.