The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that, on average, men die five years earlier than women, and that’s just one of many reasons June was declared Men’s Health Month. Men are also at a higher risk for many of the leading causes of death due to avoiding the doctor and self-reporting health issues less than women.
#1: Heart Disease
Complications in the heart come in many forms, but all of them can lead to a severe condition that could be fatal if not properly treated. According to the American Heart Association, more than one in three adult men have cardiovascular disease, and high blood pressure is a common condition for men 45 and under.
Additionally, diabetes is a serious health condition that can affect the heart and many other parts of the body. Not treating it can lead to heart disease, stroke, nerve and kidney damage, and vision problems that may evolve into blindness. Men also face the risk of lower testosterone levels and sexual impotence, which can also lead to depression or anxiety.
#2: Respiratory Disease
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the third leading cause of death in the United States. The American Lung Association reports that more men have been diagnosed and developed lung cancer than in years past, and smoking has remained the number one risk factor for lung cancer.
Infections from influenza and pneumococcal are also a significant health risk for men. A compromised immune system from COPD, diabetes, congestive heart failure, sickle cell anemia, AIDS, or cancer means being more susceptible to both illnesses. Vaccinations are recommended to prevent developing them.
#3: Alcohol-Related Deaths
The CDC reports that men face higher rates of alcohol-related deaths, since men tend to binge drink twice as much as women. Additionally, the risk for cancer in the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon increases with alcohol consumption, along with a decrease in testicular function and hormone production.
#4: Depression and Suicide
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) discovered that, every year, roughly six million men struggle with a depressive disorder and/or suicidal thoughts. The reason behind this trend is likely because there is a societal stigma against men seeking help and expressing their emotions.
#5: Unintentional Injuries and Accidents
This category includes, but is not limited to, drowning, homicide, traumatic brain injuries, firework-related mishaps, and motor vehicle crashes. The various elements are why it has remained the number one leading cause of death since 1982.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reviewed data gathered by the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) from the U.S. Department of Transportation and concluded that men typically drive more miles and die in more car crashes each year. They are also more likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as speeding and not wearing a seatbelt.
#6: Liver Diseases
Your liver is responsible for digesting food, absorbing nutrients, and ridding the body of toxins. Conditions impairing the liver include cirrhosis, viral hepatitis, autoimmune or genetic liver diseases, bile duct cancer, liver cancer, and alcoholic liver disease.
As mentioned earlier, men are more likely to drink alcohol and smoke, which increases the chances of developing liver disease, according to the American Cancer Society.
#7: Skin Cancer
According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common cancer condition, and melanoma is more common in men overall, especially after the age of 50. Most skin cancers do have a high cure rate but only if they are caught early. Along with less self-reporting, developments can usually be spotted on the back of the torso or scalp—areas the male cannot easily observe on his own.
#8: HIV and AIDS
In 2018, men accounted for 81% of new HIV diagnoses and 11,975 of the AIDS-related deaths in the United States. According to the CDC, nearly one in seven men with HIV are unaware they have it, since the initial symptoms are similar to a cold or flu. This lack of awareness causes unintentional transmission to others.
Open Doors for Every Patient
The medical professionals at Hillcroft Physicians are knowledgeable and ready to help every patient that walks through our doors. Our physicians are practiced in family medicine with a holistic approach to ensure you live a long and healthy life. Men’s Health Month is a reminder to men and everyone to schedule regular check-ups with a primary physician and to come in whenever you have a health concern. Hillcroft Physicians is open for appointments or walk-ins. For appointments, call 713-988-3921 to schedule a visit today.