By Gregg E. Mitchell, MD
Men should be aware of the most common problems that will shorten their lifespan and what they can do to stay healthier. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common causes of death in men are heart attacks, cancer, unintentional injuries, lung disease and strokes. These diseases are very common in men but also can be preventable.
The best way to prevent these causes is to prevent them from ever happening. Each of these diseases has ways to help avoid or delay their development. These ways help men live a healthier and longer life. The following recommendations are some of the best available evidence that men should know and discuss with their doctor.
1) All men over the age of 18 should have their blood pressure checked.
2) All males age 35 and older, as well as males between 20-35 with heart disease risk factors, should have their cholesterol checked.
3) All men with a blood pressure that is high normal >135/80 should be screened for diabetes.
4) Males between the ages of 50-75 should be screened for colon cancer.
5) All males age 55-80 who have smoked the equivalent of at least one pack a day for 30 years and either still smoke or have quit smoking within the past 15 years should be screened annually for lung cancer.
6) Men should seek help in quitting all tobacco products.
7) All men between the ages of 65-75 who have ever smoked should be screened one time with an ultrasound for an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
Additional ways that will dramatically improve your health and well being are risks that each man can change:
8) Every male should be screened to assess if they engage in risky behavior with alcohol use.
9) Every male should always wear their seat belt when riding in a vehicle to decrease their risk of a serious injury.
10) Most importantly, for remaining healthy, is a well balanced diet and incorporating 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week into their lives.
Incorporating these Top 10 Basic Concepts to improve your health will not only help you live longer but will make you physically better. Men need to be aware of the issues they face and make every effort to combat the diseases that are most likely to cause them harm. Do not wait until tomorrow. Do something today to improve your health. You may not only help yourself but help others around you become healthier.
The University of Tennessee
Family Medicine Center
294 Summar Drive
Jackson, TN 38301