Being a man comes with its own set of medical risks. Today we will discuss 4 of the top 10 men’s health issues, including depression and suicide, heart disease, diabetes, and HIV/Aides.
Depression and Suicide
Depression is often undiagnosed in men due to their symptoms not being “typical.” Some symptoms include anger, escapist behavior, headaches, digestive problems, and risky behaviors. Men account for 75% of all death by suicide. Men are at an increased risk of dying by suicide due to their more lethal means and the stigma around men’s mental health. If you think you may have depression, talk to a medical or mental health provider to learn about options.
More men die of heart disease than any other cause of death. However, this is preventable and you should take steps to decrease your risk. Ways to decrease your risk include eating a healthy, balanced diet, being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, and giving up smoking. Quitting smoking greatly reduces one’s risk of having a heart attack or dying from heart disease.
Men have a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes than women. This is due to men carrying more belly fat which raises the risk of getting a chronic illness. As is with heart disease, weight management, and regular exercise can reduce one’s risk of diabetes. It is also important to know what your risk of getting diabetes is. Such as if you have a family history of diabetes, personal history of prediabetes, are overweight, are 45 years of age and older, or are physically active less than 3 times/week.
Per the CDC in 2018, 81% of all US HIV cases were in men with the highest rate being in the African American population. When one is infected with HIV the first symptoms to show are flu or cold-type symptoms. After those initial symptoms, most won’t show any other symptoms for, on average 7 years. However, in those 7 years, one could still be transmitting HIV to their other partners. You can reduce your risk of contracting HIV by getting regular testing, at least yearly or before each new partner, wearing condoms correctly with every sexual encounter, and taking HIV PreP if indicated by your medical provider. For more information on PreP check out the links below!