Men are typically less sensitive to their health issues than women and are more likely to practice risky behaviors like smoking and alcohol consumption. Such mannerisms make men more vulnerable to particular lifestyle diseases than women. Not seeking medical attention as a preventative or curative measure also makes men more susceptible to disease attacks.
Certain health conditions are more common in men than women. Some of the diseases are hereditary, but many are due to lifestyle choices. Sedentary lifestyles (lack of physical activity), indulging in alcohol and tobacco consumption, and unhealthy diets are significant causes of such diseases.
1. Heart Disease
Men are twice as likely to have heart attacks than women. Other heart conditions prevalent in both men and women include coronary heart disease, heart failure, congenital heart disease, and myocarditis, among others. All heart diseases have common risks associated with them. The risk factors include smoking, consuming alcohol, physical inactivity, family history, hypertension, and high cholesterol.
Having a heart attack event also puts you at risk of having future episodes. Some heart conditions, like myocarditis, are less known. Symptoms of myocarditis include chest pains, shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling of limbs, and sudden loss of consciousness. It is important to go for regular health checkups to avoid problems in the future.
2. Liver Disease
Like heart diseases, men are also twice as likely as women to die of liver disease. The fatality incidences are particularly associated with chronic liver disease and cirrhosis. Chronic liver disease is when there is a persistent liver ailment for more than six months. Cirrhosis is a deterioration of a liver disease where the liver tissue scars permanently after persistent inflammation.
While there are liver disease incidences that are genetic, others are a result of lifestyle choices. Factors that increase disposition to liver diseases include heavy alcohol consumption, intravenous drugs usage, obesity, unprotected sex, tattoos/body piercings, etc.
Men are sometimes more likely than women to indulge in the risk factors associated with liver disease and hence, more susceptible to the ailments. To avoid or minimize such exposure to liver diseases, you should practice counteractive behavior to the risk factors. You should avoid heavy consumption of alcohol, exercise frequently, and avoid drug abuse.
The top three global cancer incidences in men are lung, prostate, and colorectal cancer. Other statistics add melanoma cancer to this list. Smoking (primary and secondary smoking), drinking alcohol, exposure to the sun’s UV rays, and being overweight are some of the cancer risk factors.
Female chromosome cells are not as vulnerable to cancerous cell mutations as male ones. The cell vulnerabilities emerge during embryo formation. Genetic vulnerability to cancer because you are male means you should be consistent with cancer screening. Cancer takes years to show symptoms, and the best bet is to screen and allay any fears.
Various types of cancer have recommended periods of screening. For example, it is advisable for 50 to 80-year-olds who are heavy smokers to go for lung cancer screening. All middle-aged men should also go for prostate cancer screening.
4. Respiratory Diseases
Respiratory diseases affect the lung and other parts of the respiratory system. Such conditions include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, and lung cancer. More men than women receive a lung cancer diagnosis each year.
The principal cause of lung cancer is smoke—primary or secondary smoke. Other causes of lung cancer include frequent ingestion of harmful chemicals (e.g., radon, asbestos, etc.), taking some dietary supplements, and hereditary factors. Statistics show that smoking is more common in men than in women.
To help keep lung cancer at bay, your starting point is to stop smoking if you are a smoker. If you are a non-smoker but exposed to an environment of frequent smoke, you should remove yourself from it. Being male genetically makes you vulnerable to any cancer type and, therefore, screening for early detection is advisable.
Know Your Risks and Stay Healthy
Awareness is the first step to prevention in all health conditions affecting men. You cannot circumvent all health conditions as some are beyond your control. However, it is possible to reduce the likelihood of some diseases affliction. Healthy lifestyle choices and frequent medical checkups make all the difference in keeping diseases at bay.