Across the world, it is believed that women now outlive men. The average life expectancy in women (81) has also been found to be more than that in men (76) in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
“This gender gap in life expectancy is true for all societies, and it is also true for the great apes,” said Perminder Sachdev, a doctor and professor of neuropsychiatry at the University of New South Wales in Australia who has studied human longevity.
Sachdev also spoke of the main health issues that are contributing to why women tend to outlive men.
“Men are more likely to smoke, drink excessively and be overweight,” he said. “They are also less likely to seek medical help early, and, if diagnosed with a disease, they are more likely to be non-adherent to treatment.”
As you go through some of the common health threats to men, and how to avoid them, also know that early diagnosis should be a top priority in healthcare for men.
Prostate cancer is common among men. Although many consider it reserved for the older population, it can occur in younger men as well.
It is treatable if found in its early stages but often shows no symptom until it spreads to other parts of the body. Going for regular checkups, having a healthy diet, and exercising more often are some key healthcare tips to fend off the disease.
According to a report, one in 10 men aged 50 has a heart age 10 years older than they are. Imagine that!
Heart disease mortality is also said to be higher in men.
Ways to keep this disease at bay are by avoiding smoking and alcohol, adopting diets low in saturated fats, avoiding highly processed food. You should also embrace weight loss and physical exercise. But again, regular checkups are a must.
Research has shown that, although both men and women suffer depression, men are less likely than women to recognize, talk about, and seek treatment for the same.
The reluctance among men may be due to societal constructs which expect them to be “strong”.
If you’re a man struggling with depression, try regular exercise, journaling, communicating openly with friends and family, and seeking professional help.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
While common among both sexes, high blood pressure is more prevalent in men. It’s not inevitable and can be prevented, delayed, and treated.
If ignored, it can lead to heart and kidney failure, vision problems, and even blindness.
Stress, lack of physical activity, and being overweight or obese increase the odds, as do genetics.
Can you see the need for regular medical checkups now?
By age 50, men are also more likely than women to develop melanoma, a form of skin cancer.
This number jumps by age 65, making men 2 times as likely as women of the same age to get melanoma.
This higher risk is likely related to more frequent sun exposure and fewer visits to the doctor.
Men are also more likely to die from the disease.
A common health problem, especially for men with diabetes or prostate issues, is erectile dysfunction.
Erectile dysfunction is most often caused by atherosclerosis — the same process that causes heart attacks and strokes. There are a number of reasons why men develop erectile dysfunction, many of which can be treated.
It’s important to see a doctor so that they can rule out or treat any underlying medical conditions.
Testosterone is the male sex hormone that is made in the testicles. Testosterone hormone levels are important to normal male sexual development and functions.
Some men have low testosterone levels which could be called Testosterone Deficiency Syndrome (TD) or Low Testosterone (Low-T). Deficiency means that the body does not have enough of a needed substance.
According to the American Urological Association, at least two out of 10 men older than 60 years have low testosterone.
Experts believe that a healthy lifestyle such as weight loss and getting more physical activity will likely raise your testosterone levels.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in men. Cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer. According to the American Lung Association, each year more men are diagnosed with and develop lung cancer than in years past. Quitting smoking at any age can lower the risk of lung cancer.
Consuming too much alcohol is dangerous for one’s health as it increases your risk for cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon.
But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), men face higher rates of alcohol-related deaths and hospitalizations than women do. Men take in twice as much as women and are more likely to increased aggression and sexual assault against women. Avoid taking alcohol.
Diabetes is a chronic and metabolic disease that can lead to nerve and kidney damage, heart disease and stroke, and even vision problems or blindness if left untreated.
A study found that men are almost twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes than women.
Engaging in exercise, combined with a healthy diet, can prevent diabetes.
Bottom line is, see a doctor regularly gents!