No matter how much of a cliche it may sound, the maxim that prevention is better than cure applies – especially when it comes to men’s health. The reason why this is so is because when you look at the top 10 leading causes of deaths in males in the United States, you would see that they are actually perfectly preventable.
To give you an idea, here is a quick list of the top 10 leading causes of deaths in males in the United States for 2004, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
1. Heart disease, 27.2% of total deaths
2. Cancer, 24.3% of total deaths
3. Unintentional injuries, 6.1% of total deaths
4. Stroke, 5% of total deaths
5. Chronic lower respiratory diseases, 5% of total deaths
6. Diabetes, 3% of total deaths
7. Influenza and pneumonia, 2.3% of total deaths
8. Suicide, 2.2% of total deaths
9. Kidney disease, 1.7% of total deaths
10. Alzheimer’s disease, 1.6% of total deaths
Heart disease, stroke, respiratory diseases and kidney disease are actually preventable illnesses – if only men will learn how to live a healthier lifestyle in the first place.
So if you don’t want to be part of these statistics, what exactly can you do to prevent them? What are the ways that men can avoid the top 10 threats in their health from occurring? Read on to find out.
Enumerating the Top 10 Threats to Men’s Health & How They Can be Prevented
Still according to the CDC, based from the top 10 leading causes of death in males in the United States, only 80% can be attributed to one of only ten causes. What this specifically means is all that men need to do is avoid the risks associated with these diseases – and in turn, they can significantly improve their health and extend their lives.
Now, here are the top ten health threats to their health that men face on a regular basis, as well as some tips on exactly how they can be prevented:
1. Heart Disease
Even from the CDC’s 2003 statistics, heart disease is the number one killer of American men. From 2003 to 2004, it was responsible for causing about 28% of the deaths – and the sad thing about it is that this is a completely preventable disease.
In order to avoid heart disease, you should try to maintain a healthy weight. Having a diet which is rich in fruits, vegetables, fiber and avoiding fatty foods is also a great way to keep heart disease at bay.
Sometimes, there are underlying health conditions related to heart disease. If you have diabetes, for example, you should keep your blood sugar under control. Also, have your body cholesterol and blood pressure tested – and always follow your doctor’s advice.
The big ‘C’ is a close second to heart disease as the leading causes of death in male Americans.
The types of cancers which cause death include lung cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer.
Perhaps the most preventable type of cancer among these three is lung cancer. As long as you steer clear of smoking, there is a lesser chance that you will get it.
As for prostate and colon cancer, the best way to fight against cancers is by having regular checkups or preventive health screenings.
3. Unintentional Injuries
The instances when unintentional injuries which lead to death occur include vehicular accidents, poisoning, falls, drowning and workplace accidents.
Although it is true that accidents do happen, there is such a thing as being too careless.
In order to minimize the possibilities of your suffering from injuries, it is best to take preventive measures and take good care of yourself.
This is especially true when driving – which you should not do when sleepy, drunk or under the influence of drugs.
For the other causes of injuries, make sure that you are not swimming in unfamiliar bodies of water all by yourself. Even the simple task of placing non-skid mats in your bathroom would help.
Finally, make sure that you have ample protection in your workplace, especially if you are doing manual labor or dealing with machinery.
The precautions taken in preventing heart disease is the same thing that you should do to reduce the incidence of stroke.
Limiting your alcohol consumption, steering clear of cigarettes, having a proper diet, having your blood pressure regularly checked, maintaining a healthy weight and exercising – all of these preventive measures will lower the risks of having stroke.
5. Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases
According to the American Lung Association, more than 60,000 men died of chronic lower respiratory diseases in 2003.
Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are some health conditions which fall under the category of chronic lower respiratory diseases.
Although there are other risk factors, the main reason why men acquire this disease is smoking.
If you’re a smoker, you are 12 times more likely to die of chronic lower respiratory diseases as compared to a man who does not smoke at all.
Obviously, the preventive measure to take for this is to quit or completely avoid smoking. You should also avoid secondhand smoke and if you’re dealing with chemicals in the workplace, make sure that you have ample protection from inhaling the substances which could be toxic – if you cannot avoid being close to chemicals at all.
If you’re a bit thick in the middle, chances are more for you to be at risk of acquiring diabetes.
This is the sixth leading cause of death among American men, which could also be due to the fact that it’s quite easy to succumb to leading a sedentary lifestyle.
So how can this disease be prevented?
You do need to maintain a healthy weight, try to reduce the flab in your middle through diet and exercise, and if you already know that you are at risk due to a history of diabetes in the family, you should have your blood sugar checked regularly. [Controlling diabetes]
7. Influenza and Pneumonia
Influenza and pneumonia are both life-threatening diseases which are actually lung infections. They could both be a result of lung damage due to asthma or smoking.
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce your risks of getting influenza and pneumonia by having injections.
Yearly flu shots are 90% effective in preventing the disease, and vaccines for pneumonia infection reduce the risks of acquiring it by half.
It may sound uncommon to you, especially if you have not had a close encounter with suicide or depression – but it is more common than you think.
In 2003, the CDC noted more than 25,000 men who committed suicide.
In addition, men are 4 times more likely to commit suicide than women.
The sad thing is that very few depression cases are being diagnosed because men are less likely to treat or even recognize the symptoms of the disease if it befell them.
What’s important is for men to realize that if they are feeling depressed or experiencing suicidal tendencies, they should immediately seek professional help.
9. Kidney Disease
You can have kidney disease if you overuse over-the-counter medications like aspirin and ibuprofen.
The content of these medications are toxic to your kidneys, so don’t make it a habit of popping an aspirin every time you feel a headache coming on.
Living a healthy lifestyle and only following the doctor’s orders when taking your medication are the preventive measures for kidney disease.
10. Alzheimer’s Disease
Finally, the number 10 killer of men in the US is Alzheimer’s disease.
This disease is prevalent to those who are 65 years and above – and 4.5 million men and women are affected by it.
As of now, there really is no specific measure that you can take to prevent Alzheimer’s disease – but improving your general health may help.
According to MayoClinic.com, the statistical average age that men in the US live is 74.8. If you would like to live well past this age, you should try leading a healthier lifestyle through diet and exercise, stop smoking or avoid it completely, make sure to take preventive measures against injuries and accidents – and get regular checkups with your doctor.