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?
Stroke is the third leading killer in the country, after heart disease and
all forms of cancer. The incidence rate of stroke is 1.25 times greater in men
than in women, although there is really no difference between the sexes as
people get older, according to the American Stroke Association.
"We know that a very important risk factor for stroke is hypertension.
The control of hypertension is a crucial factor to try to prevent the onset of
stroke," says Burke.
Other risk factors include:
Race. African-Americans have the greater risk than
Gender. Stroke is more common in men than in women until
Personal history of stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA, or
Smoking, including secondhand smoke
Alcohol and substance abuse
In many ways, behaviors that can reduce the risk of stroke mirror those that
can reduce risk of heart disease. "We need to recognize that a healthy
lifestyle -- dietary factors and exercise -- reduces the risk of people getting
hypertension at all," says Burke.
"It happens more commonly in the older folks, but it should never be
viewed as inevitable, even in people with a family history of the disease,"
Suicide and Depression
Men are four times more likely to commit suicide compared to women, reports
the MHN, which attributes part of the blame on underdiagnosed depression in
William Pollack, PhD, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard
Medical School, agrees: "Men are more prone to suicide because they're less
likely to openly show depression and have somebody else recognize it early
enough to treat it, or to have themselves recognize that they're in
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 6 million
men have depression each year. Pollack believes the number of males with
depression could be even greater since men may show signs of depression in a
manner different from many women.
Instead of sadness, Pollack says depression may play out in the following
ways in men:
- Work "burnout"
- Risk-taking behavior
- Midlife crisis
- Alcohol and substance abuse