5 Leading Threats to Men Health

by Aiman Tahir Laghari
5 Leading Threats to Men Health

You must have heard quite a lot that men are stronger than women. Well, the reason can be pretty convincing, they are muscular and bigger than women. They are physically more active, energetic, can run faster and can easily lift heavy objects. However, this is not the case with them when it comes to their health. In medical terms, men are weaker in terms of their health as compared to women.

A study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health reported that men are more prone to diseases than women. Screening of men’s health is a must as they often neglect their health. Studies have even shown that if a man is content at his workplace he’d be likely to neglect his health, as for him work satisfaction would matter more. While, in the case of women, they spend more on their health and are less prone to diseases.

Correlation of Importance of Employment and Men Health

Many researchers have worked on men health and had reported that employment has a direct link to men health and issues to this link include are 

  • Men are considered to be the breadwinner of the family so unemployment put a great strain on their mental health. This affects their financial situation and men end up feeling ashamed and guilty for not being able to do anything. This stress makes them bottle up their emotions that keep on affecting their health.
  • Men’s self-esteem is highly linked with their employment. Unlike women, in most cases, men feel encouraged, self-worthy and confident when they do their role of homemaker and as a parent.
  • So, when there is no work or a long period of unemployment men feel bothered and it affects their health. Because men who feel they have control of their life, they have a positive outlook of life and invest in health. But men who are unemployed, feel left out and helpless.
  • Before we look into the major health threats to men, let’s have a quick look at factors that make men more prone to health issues.

Why Men Lag in Health than Women

Biological Factors

  • Metabolism
  • Hormones
  • Reproductive Anatomy
  • Genes and Chromosomes (XY chromosomes in men)

Behavioural Factors

  • Unhealthy Eating Habits
  • Smoking
  • Aggression & Violence
  • Drug abuse
  • Lack of exercise
  • Lack of personal care and routine medical checkup

Social Factors

  • Work Stress
  • Mental Health Issues
  • Lack of Support etc.

These three social factors collectively provide us with the answer that why men are weaker in health as compared to women.

5 Most Major Threats to Men Health

Now, here are the 5 major threats to men’s health which they need to be mindful of so they can enjoy healthy life.

1. Leading Threat- Cardiovascular diseases in Men

According to CDC, heart diseases are the leading causes of death in men. Men are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular diseases than women. Stroke is the second leading cause of death after heart disease. Cardiovascular diseases are becoming a huge global public health issue.

In cardiovascular disease mostly the culprit is high blood pressure and cholesterol. The cholesterol starts to get accumulated in the arteries and it gradually blocks the arteries both in the heart & brain. If this accumulation of plaque becomes unstable it can form a blood clot, which can block the artery thus leading to stroke or heart attack. About 57% of deaths in a male are due to heart diseases.

2. Lung Cancer – A Continuous Health Threat to Men

It is an awful disease. It is an aggressive, ugly and metastatic disease. It is a silent killer, as it can spread slowly and when it becomes large enough to cause signs and symptoms then it appears in the X-rays. In most cases, by the time you find out about this disease, it is in an advanced stage and thus it becomes difficult to cure this disease. Once the advanced stage of this cancer is hit, men mostly live a year only.

Knowing this if you are still smoking then you are poisoning your own self. As per studies, about 90% of Lung cancer is due to smoking tobacco. So, you need to quit smoking to reduce the risk of lung cancer. 

3. A Cancer of Men – Prostate Cancer

This is one of the typical alarming health issues related to men as it is only men related disease. The risk of prostate cancer in men increases with age. It is one of the most common cancers in men apart from skin cancer. As per studies, 1 out of 6 men in his lifetime will develop this cancer and only 1 in 35 will die from this cancer. Prostate cancer is less aggressive, slow-growing and does not spread like other cancers. Identifying which cancer is more lethal is not an easy task.

4. Diabetes: A Silent Health Destroyer

Unlike other diseases, diabetes starts to appear silently without any symptoms but over the year it keeps on developing until your blood sugar becomes so high that it starts to come in your urine. You only visit the doctor when the urine becomes frequent with the continuous thirst.

Excessive glucose in the blood is a poison, in fact, a slow poison for the nerves and blood vessels of your body. Over time, diabetes can lead to other severe hidden health issues such as amputation, kidney failure, strokes, heart attacks, eye diseases even blindness. And if you are obese or over-weight, you are worsening diabetes or even increasing your risk of having diabetes.

5. Depression and Anxiety

For now in our list, last, but not least, depression and anxiety, that is becoming a serious concern and threat to men’s health. Depression and anxiety is not merely a bad mood or feeling stressed out. It is more than that, it is an emotional disturbance that over time leads to health issues. But before physical health deteriorates, depression and anxiety if unchecked can lead to severe mental health issues.

Depression and anxiety become more serious for men because of mental health apart from being a stigma in our society, it is also quite a stereotype for men. Men being considered as rough and tough, if shown their emotions are considered as weak. They keep bottling up their emotions, hide their emotions and in the end suffer from severe depression. Depression shows that your body and mind are linked together. Due to depression your stress hormones and other brain chemicals are out of balance. Appetite, sleep, energy and other daily activities are disturbed. Research even shows that depression can lead to chronic heart diseases.

At first, it was thought that depression and anxiety affect men more than women. However the studies have shown the opposite, men are more prone to this mental health issue and due to the stereotype type or stigma this depression is leading to an increase in the suicide rate. Hence, it becomes very important for us to manage mental health and get it timely treated.

Understanding any health issue is just one thing. To reduce the risk of it is by taking action against it. You don’t have to completely change your lifestyle overnight, instead take small steps such as exercise, sleeping on time, manage stress, avoid smoking and eat a hygienic diet etc. These steps may sound simple but their impact is long-lasting and leads to a healthy life!

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