Stroke is one of the leading killers among both men and women, but it is 1.25 times greater in men than in women. The most important step you can take to minimize your risk of stroke is controlling hypertension. It is also important to control diabetes, cholesterol, and heart disease, as well as avoid smoking and second hand smoke, stay active and at a healthy weight, and limit alcohol use.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men. One in four men has some form of heart disease, according to the CDC. The average age of a man having their first heart attack is 65.8. At ages 35-44, the average annual rates of a man having his first heart disease complication is seven per 1,000 men. At ages 85-94 that number rises to 68 per 1,000. To minimize your risk of heart disease, quite smoking, monitor your cholesterol and blood pressure, stay active and maintain a healthy weight.
Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer. More than 213, 000 new cases of lung cancer and 160,000 lung cancer deaths are expected in men this year. Fortunately, the rate of new lung cancer cases has decreased since the 1980s, and deaths from lung cancer have decreased since the 1990s. Many attribute this decrease to the decrease in tobacco use. To decrease your risk of lung cancer, quit smoking and minimize your exposure to secondhand smoke, asbestos, and air pollution.
The most common cancer found in men is prostate cancer. It falls second to lung cancer in the leading type of cancer death in men. Little is known about what causes prostate cancer and how to prevent it, but if found early it can be treated. Early diagnosis can be difficult though because prostate cancer can show no symptoms until it has spread to other parts of the body, so it is important to get screenings. The American Cancer Society recommends that men receive a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and digital rectal exam annually starting at age 50.
Suicide and Depression
Men are four times more likely to commit suicide compared to women. Many believe the high rate of suicide is due to an under-diagnosis of depression in men, which could be because men are less likely to openly show signs of depression. Instead of showing sadness, many men living with depression show anger, aggression, work “burnout,” substance abuse, and risk-taking behavior.
Jaime Venditti, State Coordinator, New York Health Works