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Men's Top 5 Health Concerns

Men die at higher rates than women for all of the top 10 causes of death. Why don't men take better care of their health?

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Bonhomme places part of the blame on society in general, which expects boys to be tough and ignore pain. As people get older, however, the rules change. A little pain can get worse, or signal something more serious going on in the body.

Many of the top 10 causes of death are preventable, and can be treated, if found early. To help men better their health, WebMD examined the risk factors for five of the biggest killers of men: heart disease, stroke, suicide, prostate cancer, and lung cancer. We asked the experts why men were so vulnerable to these ailments and what they could do to reduce their risk of disease and death.

Heart Disease

Although heart disease is the leading killer of both men and women, almost twice as many males die of conditions that affect the cardiovascular system, the MHN reports.

According to the CDC, one in four men has some form of heart disease. It is the leading cause of death.

Average annual rates of the first heart disease complication rises from seven per 1,000 men at ages 35-44 to 68 per 1,000 at ages 85-94. For women, similar rates occur but they happen about 10 years later in life. The average age of a person having a first heart attack is 65.8 for men and 70.4 for women.

"For men, heart disease begins to manifest itself about 10 years earlier than women," says Gregory Burke, MD, professor and chairman of the department of public health sciences at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

This does not mean men have a free pass against heart disease until they're older. Men have a shorter time to prevent the development of the condition so their overall risk is greater.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), risk factors for heart disease include:

Some things, such as your age and sex, obviously cannot be controlled, but modifying lifestyle to eat right and exercise can reduce your risk of heart disease, says Burke.

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