Posted by Su Lee
June is Men’s Health Month highlighting common health issues in men while promoting healthy habits. According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), men have shorter life expectancy compared to women1. We sat down with Thomas Horowitz, MD at CHA HPMC, to understand the key health risks faced by men and some essential habits to maintain lifelong health.
What are some of the major health risks faced by men?
Heart disease is one of the top risk factors for men, and also the leading cause of death2. Habits such as drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes has an adverse impact on men, which can lead to heart and lung diseases. Moreover, traditional high-risk jobs—dominated by men—can cause injuries. Men are also prone to prostate diseases. Men generally face more traumatic injuries from sports.
Research has shown that men avoid routine check-ups and health screenings compared with women. Why are health screenings important for men?
Men tend to be more resistant to annual exams. The advantage of early diagnosis is often lost to the fear of a diagnosis that might hurt one’s job or other activities. Periodic health screenings help in early diagnosis and treatment of diseases.
What are some of the health screenings that men should undergo?
It is very important to get complete baseline check-up for everyone, irrespective of age, sex, or ethnicity. With this check-up, risk factors can be identified, and appropriate tests can be conducted. Basic health screenings for men include Blood pressure (BP) exam, basic lab exams including complete blood count (CBC) test, chemistry panels (routine tests to check a person’s health status), Lipids, thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) test, A1C test (blood glucose level test), PSA test (prostate cancer), along with chest x-rays and electrocardiogram (EKG). Health screening can also include testicular exam. However, it all starts with a good history and physical exam. At that time one can evaluate the schedule needed for follow-up. CHA HPMC offers all the primary care screenings and a state-of-the-art urology care.
What are some healthy lifestyle guidelines for men?
- Healthy diet is very important. Diet should be low fat, low sugar, natural, and high in fiber content
- Regular exercise helps in staying fit and improving health. At least 20 minutes of daily activity is recommended. Brisk walking is good for health. One can also enroll in Yoga or Tai Chi (Chinese martial art) classes
- In today’s hectic world, stress management and relaxation techniques need to be followed to maintain health
- Get routine health screenings, immunizations, and assess the potential risk of future health problems
- Avoid unhealthy habits such as excessive alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, and usage of drugs
1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health, United States, 2017 – Data Finder. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/hus/contents2017.htm?search=Life_expectancy
2Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heart Disease and Men. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/dotw/heart-disease-men/index.html