Health Risks for Men
Guys, when it comes to longevity, you’re at a disadvantage. On average, you’ll live five years less than your female counterparts. You’re also less likely to see your doctor each year for a check-up. Here’s a look at some health risks that are greater in men and what you need to know:
Males born as recently as in the last decade have a 1 in 3 chance of developing diabetes during their lifetime. Diabetes can cause severe damage to the body including blood vessel and nerve
damage, blindness, stroke, heart disease and kidney failure.
Exercise and eating a healthy, balanced diet along with an annual preventive wellness visit can help identify health conditions, like diabetes, before they become serious.
Smoking and tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Choosing to quit using tobacco is an important decision that will improve your health and quality of life. When you quit, health improvements start right away and continue to get better with time. If you’ve tried before, remember: every time you try to quit, you increase your chances of succeeding.
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi members with the Be Tobacco-free benefit can enroll in our cessation program at no out-of-pocket cost. Visit your myBlue member portal to get started on your tobacco-free journey..
Cancer of the prostate is unique to men and is the most common cancer in men besides skin cancer, affecting about 200,000 men each year. Survival odds are good with treatment. While one in six men will develop prostate cancer in his lifetime, only one in 35 will die from it. Having an annual wellness visit is one of the best ways to prevent prostate cancer or catch it early.
Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Men are more likely than women to drink in excess, and they are also more likely to engage in risky habits while drinking.
- Men have higher rates of alcohol-related deaths and hospitalizations than women.
- In fatal motor-vehicle traffic crashes, men are almost twice as likely as women to have been intoxicated (blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or greater).
- Excessive alcohol consumption increases aggressive behaviors like physical assault.
- Men are more likely than women to commit suicide and are more likely to have been drinking prior to committing suicide.
Men... Your Mental Health is Important, Too
When it comes to life’s main stressors, work problems, divorce and separation are more likely to lead to depressive episodes in men. And men are more likely to be diagnosed with high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and heart disease as a result.There’s also a social stigma surrounding depression in men. Many perceive it as a weakness just as they do when it comes to seeking help and talking about it. This idea of “weakness” is a barrier during stressful times and can make men more vulnerable because they are less likely to seek help.
The top mental health issues men face include:
Depression often manifests differently in men than women. Men tend to become angry and more aggressive. They are also more likely to have unhealthy coping habits, like drinking alcohol excessively. Men respond well to therapy and treatment, so it’s important to talk to a doctor if you feel you may be depressed.Anxiety
Anxiety disorder affects approximately 19.1 million American adults. This includes panic disorder, agoraphobia and any other type of phobia.Bipolar Disorder
Approximately 2.3 million Americans have a bipolar disorder diagnosis, affecting men and women about equally. It is more likely to be diagnosed in men between 16-25 years of age.Psychosis and Schizophrenia
About 3.5 million Americans are diagnosed with schizophrenia, which is one of the leading causes of disability. Ninety percent of people who are diagnosed by age 30 are men.
Lesser Known Triggers
Did you know that medications can actually trigger mental health issues or psychosis? In rare instances, the therapy prescribed to help may actually hurt you. If you’re prescribed a medication, be sure to discuss possible side effects with your doctor, understand the risks and warnings and be mindful of any side effects.
What You Can Do
If you suspect that you, or someone you know, may be suffering from any form of mental illness, talk to your doctor about self therapy or other types of intervention. It is important to seek help as soon as possible.
For more information, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) at www.nami.org.
'Fit'ting It All In
Another lifestyle factor that plays a significant role in health is physical activity.
Did you know?
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise. For weight loss or maintenance of weight loss, 300 minutes provides even more health benefits. That’s about 30-60 minutes, five days a week, spread throughout the week. Muscle-strengthening activities involving all major muscle groups, like weightlifting, are recommended at least two days per week.