10 Most Common Health Conditions in Men
Men may be perceived as the physically stronger gender because they are bigger and more muscular than women. However, when it comes to health, it’s the other way around. Men are more likely to experience chronic health conditions earlier than women because of different lifestyle, biological and social factors. These include smoking, alcohol and substance abuse, stress, hormones, metabolism, genes, lack of exercise, unhealthy diet and lack of regular checkups.
What are the Common Health Conditions in Men?
The life expectancy of males in America is 76.1 years. This is five years less than the life expectancy of women which is 81.1 years. The numbers may be intimidating, but they can help you start making necessary changes for a better health and a longer life. Having said that, let’s take a look at some of the most common health conditions affecting men, in no particular order.
1. Heart Disease
The risk factors of having heart disease vary depending on your cholesterol levels, diet, physical activity and smoking habits. A 2013-2016 report from the American Heart Association states that 51.2% of males age 20 and above have some form of cardiovascular disease. Routine checkups can help prevent heart disease, as well as eating healthy, exercising and avoiding stress.
Over 13.7 million men were recorded to have diabetes in 2013-2016. Diabetes is a serious disease that, when left untreated, can cause vision problems, kidney damage, nerve damage, stroke and heart disease. There are two types of diabetes, but they share several similar symptoms. These include having a blurry vision, frequent urination, feeling thirsty, feeling hungry, fatigue and cuts or sores that don’t heal properly. If you suspect that you may have diabetes, contact your doctor to get your blood sugar tested.
There were 3.2 million cases of stroke in men from 2013 to 2016 in the United States. Stroke is caused by a clot that blocks the oxygen and nutrients to the brain. It causes brain damage and may also lead to limited physical movements, loss of memory and slurred speech. Some of the factors that may lead to stroke include high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, tobacco use, alcohol abuse, illegal drugs and physical inactivity.
4. Liver Disease
In 2018, about 4.5 million adults in the United States were found to have some form of liver disease. If you have a liver condition, your body will have a hard time digesting food, absorbing nutrients and getting rid of toxic substances. Some of the most common liver diseases include viral hepatitis, cirrhosis, bile duct cancer, alcoholic liver disease and liver cancer. Abstaining or at least limiting your alcohol consumption and giving up smoking can help lower your risk of developing a liver condition.
5. COPD and Other Respiratory Diseases
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the medical term for chronic bronchitis and emphysema. The symptoms of chronic bronchitis include shortness of breath, cough, increased mucus and frequent clearing of the throat. Meanwhile, the symptoms of emphysema include shortness of breath and chronic reduction of one’s capacity for physical activity. Cases of lung cancer, on the other hand, increase every year. The number one cause of lung cancer is smoking.
The top causes of cancer-related death in the United States are prostate cancer, lung cancer and colorectal cancer. Each type of cancer has different risk factors, but some of the common ones for multiple types include alcohol consumption, tobacco use, over exposure to radiation and sunlight, chronic inflammation, obesity and family history of the disease.
7. Influenza and Pneumonia
Men are about 20% more likely to experience severe symptoms and complications from influenza and pneumococcal infection than women. Those who have compromised immune system due to a pre-existing condition like diabetes and heart disease are also more prone to these illnesses. The American Lung Association recommends vaccination to stay safe from influenza and pneumonia.
8. HIV and AIDS
The number of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is higher among men than women. Sadly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in seven men with HIV do not know they have it. Taking medicine, avoiding multiple sexual partners and practicing safe sex by using condoms can help prevent the risk of being infected.
9. Unintentional Injuries
Accidental injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, are the third leading cause of death in the United States. Since these are caused by accidents and natural disasters, including vehicular accidents, falling, fire and earthquakes, the best thing you can do is to stay safe and remain vigilant. Also, do not hesitate to rush to the ER during an emergency. Our hospital is ready to provide care 24/7.
Men are less likely to talk about their struggles for various reasons, including fear. However, this shouldn’t be the case as suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. At least 6 million men suffer from depression and related mental health conditions every year. Seeking professional help, getting regular exercise and journaling are proven to help manage depression and anxiety. However, if you are suffering from extreme sadness or suicidal thoughts, call 911 immediately.
We hope this list encourages you to take care of your health so that you can also take care of your loved ones longer. If you suspect that you have any of the health conditions mentioned above, schedule an appointment with your doctor to get the treatment you need.
American Heart Association
American Stroke Association
Centers for Disease and Control Prevention
Harvard Health Publishing
Illinois Department of Public Health