Today, there is a greater education and awareness of preventative health and health screening for men’s health than in past decades, and rightfully so. Men have shorter life spans than women and die at proportionally higher rates from the mid teen years on up. Some of this is attributed to what is referred to as the “testosterone storm” that males experience from puberty to their mid twenties that leads to higher risk taking activities, as well as three behaviors that men do in larger numbers than women.
- Men smoke more than women do
- Men consumer greater amounts of cholesterol foods
- Men appear not to deal with working through emotional stress to
the extent that women appear to
- The New England Centenarian Study at Boston University
identifies that 85% of the individuals who are 100 or older are female.
Men have been historically more reluctant to seek medical care or health intervention services in the same numbers as women. A study published by the Center for Disease control identified that women are 33% more likely to visit a doctor; the rate of doctor visits for annual examinations and preventive services was 100 percent higher for women than for men.
Yet, it is well documented that heart disease, the number one killer of Americans, begins a decade or more earlier for men than for women; between the ages of 45-54 men are 3 times for likely than women to die of heart disease. In addition, over 80% of all suicides are by men, who also suffer 92% of fatal workplace injuries.
It is time for our society and medical culture to take steps to advance the participation of men in their health and disease prevention. Most health care campaigns are directed at women and their children. By creating a more abundant health information and health screening public awareness for men, the current statistics can be improved and male life expectancy extended.
Things that men can do to help themselves live longer, healthier lives are:
- Have your body mass index checked yearly to prevent obesity related conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and stroke.
- Have blood pressure checked every two years
- Colorectal cancer checkups after 50
- Talk to you doctor about depression – as men age the rate of male depression increases
- After age 65 have an abdominal aortic aneurysm screening
- Have a yearly blood sugar level test
- Regular prostate checkups after 50 years of age
If men are better informed of how they can easily prevent serious health conditions, it is anticipated that many of the health problems which decrease men’s longevity, could be greatly diminished.
- Dr. Georgianna Donadio