The Importance of Men’s Health
The National Center on Health, Physical Activity & Disability. (NCHPAD) says that, “compared to women, men are more likely to smoke and drink alcohol and generally lead less healthy lifestyles. In addition, men are more likely to put off routine checkups and also delay seeing a health care provider for symptoms of a health problem.”
Working-aged men are less likely to have a regular doctor and health insurance than working-aged women. Luckily, a lot of the health conditions and diseases that men face can be prevented or treated due to prevention and early detection. NCHPAD notes, “It is important for men to understand their risk factors and how they can improve their overall health. The most common conditions affecting men – heart disease, prostate, testicular, and colon cancer, and osteoporosis later in life – have important nutritional implications.”
American men die five years earlier than women, on average. This statistic is consistent in most countries around the world. The Centers for Disease Control says the top three causes of death for men are heart disease, cancer and unintentional injury. These leading causes of death in men have been consistent over the past few years and across racial and ethnic populations.
“80% of all sudden-death cases due to unrecognized heart disease, occur in men,” says Fans for the Cure. “When family and friends are asked about possible warning signs that the man may have mentioned before his death, the majority report that he never indicated a sign or symptom of heart disease (chest pain, fatigue, shortness of breath) prior to the fatal event.”
Other specific diseases that have a higher prevalence in men, as noted by Fans for the Cure, include lung disease from smoking (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), cancer of the lung, colon, bladder and liver, and the psychiatric disorders of schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and suicide.
Pomona Valley Health Center offers these 5 ways to improve men’s health:
- Protect yourself
Protecting yourself from injury is important for your overall health and well being. Take care of yourself with helmets, safety glasses, seatbelts, sunscreen and insect repellent. Frequent and proper hand washing is also important to protect yourself from disease and illness.
- Protect your prostate
Your prostate grows as you age. You may notice changes in urinary habits and urinary problems. The best thing you can do to lower your risk of an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer is to eat a nutritious, balanced low-fat diet.
- Manage stress
Take time every day to do something you enjoy, and get plenty of rest each night. Doctors recommend between 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Another important part of managing your stress is maintaining a positive mental attitude. Meditation is one way to help improve your mood.
- Get regular check-ups and screenings
Like women, men have unique health care needs. Regular check-ups and health screenings not only protect your health, they also help your doctor understand your overall health. When your doctor is familiar with you and your health history, he can treat you more quickly and effectively in the event that you become ill. Find out from your doctor which health screenings are right for you based on your age and lifestyle.
To learn more about men’s health, visit the CDC. To learn more about your health, contact your primary care physician.