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6 Top Health Threats to Men

by Bruce Haring

From infancy to old age, it has been found that women are healthier than men. Out of all the leading causes of death, men lead women in all except Alzheimer’s disease. Men do not live long enough to develop this condition as much as woman do. On average, men die five years earlier than their wives even with the gender gap closing. There are health threats that men need to take care of so that they avoid dire consequences in the long run.

Heart Health

Cardiovascular disease is the leading health threat for men. There are many forms of heart disease, all of which can result in serious, fatal complications if they are left undetected. According to the American Heart Association, over 1 in 3 men have some form of cardiovascular disease.

It is estimated that 2.8 million men are targeted by stroke and high blood pressure has been found to be extremely common in younger males. You should schedule routine check-ups to make sure that you have a healthy heart so you can help prevent serious complications in the future.

COPD and Other Respiratory Diseases

In most cases, various respiratory diseases start with a simple “smoker’s cough.” As time passes, that cough can result in life-threatening conditions such as emphysema, lung cancer, or COPD – all of which are conditions that have an adverse effect on breathing. According to the American Lung Association, more men are diagnosed with and develop lung cancer each year than in previous years.

While being exposed to occupational hazards such as asbestos which increases the risk of lung cancer, smoking is still the leading cause of the disease.

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer too is common in men. Close to 200,000 men in the United States are estimated to develop cancer each year. Many prostate cancers progress slowly and are unlikely to spread, but there are those that are aggressive.

The problem is that there are no effective tests to help identify which cancers are more dangerous. When it comes to prostate cancer screening, a digital rectal exam is required as well as a blood test for PSA (prostate specific antigen). However, screening can find many cancers that would never pose a threat, even if undetected.  With testing, relatively harmless cancers are then aggressively treated, which in turn leads to problems like incontinence and impotence.


According to researchers at The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), each year, at least 6 million men suffer from depressive disorders including thoughts of suicide. If you are depressed, there are certain tips that are recommended by the NIMH, including:

  • Exercise on a regular basis
  • Set realistic goals for yourself
  • Postpone important decisions until you are able to think clearer
  • Have loved ones around you
  • Seek professional help

Depression can often lead to erectile dysfunction. Many of the drugs prescribed to treat depression ironically can also cause suppression of your sex drive and cause a series of sexual problems.


Diabetes is the silent threat to men’s health. It usually begins without any warning or symptoms. As the years pass, blood sugar levels slowly and quietly increase, eventually spilling into the urine. The consequent thirst and frequent urination are what finally cause many men to visit their doctors.

Excess glucose slowly poisons the blood vessels and nerves in every part of the body. Strokes, heart attacks, kidney failure, amputations, and blindness are the fallout for the majority of men. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented with a healthy diet and exercise. According to one major study, engaging in physical activity for 30 minutes every day can reduce the risk of diabetes by over 50% in men.

Liver Disease

Your liver is the size of a football. It has many important functions including digesting food, eliminating toxic substances from the body and absorbing nutrients. Liver disease includes conditions such as genetic or autoimmune liver diseases, viral hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver or bile duct cancer, and even alcoholic liver disease. According to a study that was posted by the American Cancer Society, you increase your chance of developing liver disease with alcohol and tobacco use.

With such health threats looming over you, it is critical to make sure that you take decent care of your health. Exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, and visit your doctor on a regular basis. Making small lifestyle changes can go a long way in helping you prevent these threats to your health. By taking better care of your health, you can increase the odds that you will live longer and be healthier.


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