By Shahneel Ahmed
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the top causes of death among adult men in the United States are heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, diabetes, suicide, Alzheimer’s disease, influenza and pneumonia, and chronic liver disease.
The American Heart Association states that more than one in three adult men have some form of cardiovascular disease, and stroke affects more than three million men. High blood pressure is also common in men under the age of 45, but routine medical care can help keep it under control. Prostate cancer is a leading cancer for men. In fact, besides skin cancer, it is the most common cancer in men. The American Lung Association states that more men are diagnosed with lung cancer each year compared to the years in the past. Men are also 25 percent more likely to die from influenza and pneumonia.
Suicide is another leading health risk for men. It was previously thought that depression affected more women than men; however, men tend to hide their depressed feelings and/or express them in different ways. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, at least 6 million men suffer from mental disorders, including depressive and suicidal thoughts, each year. Motor vehicle accidents are another common cause of death among men. Compared to women, men are more likely to smoke and drink and make unhealthy or risky choices. According to the CDC, men experience higher rates of alcohol-related deaths and hospitalizations than women. Men binge drink twice as much as women. Furthermore, alcohol consumption increases one’s risk for various cancers, including cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon.
Research shows that men go to the doctor less often than women and put off routine visits to the doctor and medical care. When they do go to the doctor, they most likely already have a serious condition. Many of the major health risks can be prevented and treated with early diagnosis through screening tests. Screening tests can find diseases early, when they are easier to treat. Making better lifestyle choices also prevents the development of the major health risks. Not smoking, avoiding excessive alcohol consumption, eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, and managing stress can significantly decrease one’s risk.