Men's Health: Common Issues and Ways To Minimize Risk

More boys than girls are born every year in the U.S. But any lead in health men start with vanishes with the first dirty diaper.

From infancy to old age, women are simply healthier than men. Out of the 15 leading causes of death, men lead women in all of them except Alzheimer's disease, which many men don't live long enough to develop. Although the gender gap is closing, men still die five years earlier than their wives, on average. Still, even if you're feeling healthy, a little planning can help you stay that way. The top threats to men's health aren't secrets: they're known, common, and often preventable.

Cardiovascular Disease: The Leading Men's Health Threat

They call it atherosclerosis, meaning "hardening of the arteries." But it could as easily be from the Latin for "a man's worst enemy.". One in five men and women will die from cardiovascular disease. In cardiovascular disease, cholesterol plaques gradually block the arteries in the heart and brain. If a plaque becomes unstable, a blood clot forms, blocking the artery and causing a heart attack or stroke

  • Get your cholesterol checked, beginning at age 25 and every five years.
  • Control your blood pressure and cholesterol, if they're high.
  • If you smoke, stop.
  • Increase your physical activity level to 30 minutes per day, most days of the week.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables and less saturated or trans fats.

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Lung Cancer: Still a Health Threat to Men

Lung cancer is a terrible disease: ugly, aggressive, and almost always metastatic. Lung cancer spreads early, usually before it grows large enough to cause symptoms or even show up on an X-ray. By the time it's found, lung cancer is often advanced and difficult to cure. Less than half of men are alive a year later.

So ... are you still smoking?

No effective screening test for lung cancer is available, although a major study is going on to learn if CT scans of the chests of high-risk people can catch cancer early enough to improve survival.

Prostate Cancer: A Leading Cancer for Men

Caring for your prostate can have long term health benefitsThis is one health problem men can lay full claim to -- after all, women don't have prostates. A walnut-sized gland behind the penis that secretes fluids important for ejaculation, the prostate is prone to problems as men age.




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